by Hunter Dawkins

Serving as Mississippi’s first female federal official, United States Senator Cindy Hyde Smith traveled Saturday afternoon to the 71st annual Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo under Barksdale Pavilion at Jones Park in Gulfport.  Senator Hyde-Smith was greeted with warm introduction by Richard Valdez, the Fishing Tournament Director and her former Mississippi State Senate colleague, Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes.

After meeting with constituents from different parts of the state, Senator Hyde-Smith answered a few questions from The Gazebo Gazette.  Here are the questions:

  1.       The Gazebo Gazette:  Knowing your political career for the past 20 years; Senator, and being the first female federal official from Mississippi, is there a standard that you are trying to set for other females throughout the state?

Senator Hyde-Smith:  Absolutely, I have women come up to me all the time and young girls too that ask me about how and why we have never had this before.  It’s hard to realize how significant it is in young girls and other women’s lives, but when I was elected State Senator in 1999 a female had never held that post, when I was selected as Ag Commissioner there had never been one in that position since it started in 1908, so I have begun to realize that it is significant.  However, it’s not all about me or gender, you can be a positive influence on someone that does not have a lot of self confidence and prove that this ok to step out.  Women are resilient and make such good leaders.

2.        The Gazebo Gazette:  Since your visit down here is about Marine Resources of Mississippi, what is happening in Washington, D.C. on the appropriations process for natural resources?  Specifically for agriculture and marine resources?

Senator Hyde-Smith:  We look for sufficient funding for every state in the nation, but I am representing Mississippi and that is very important to me.  We need this funding so Mississippi can prosper and there are only 31 members of the United States Senate on the appropriations committee and I am so very fortunate to be one of them.  I can assure you that I am in tune with every important aspect for the Coast, whether it’s shipbuilding, veterans affairs services, NOAA, or marine life.  The seafood industry is vital and I am very conscious of that.

Interested in hearing more of the interview questions?   Check out Friday’s edition.