Around the South for Mar. 22: MS, FL & GA

Mississippi: Bryant appoints woman to the Senate. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) announced yesterday that he has appointed Cindy Hyde-Smith, currently the state’s Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner, to the Senate vacancy created by the April 1 resignation of ailing US Sen. Thad Cochran (R), 80. Hyde-Smith is a former Democratic state legislator who has turned Republican. She is the first woman to represent the Magnolia State in the US Senate. A primary battle between Hyde-Smith and state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) could tear the state’s Republican Party apart ……. Florida: DeSantis, Levine lead in latest poll. US Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) has seen his support for governor steadily grow among Republican voters, according to Gravis Marketing. DeSantis, who has President Trump’s imprimatur, got 12% in December, 16% in February, and now, 19% in March, while Adam Putnam, who led in earlier polls, is down to 17%. House Speaker Richard Corcoran had about 3%, with 60% undecided. On the Democratic side, Gwen Graham has slipped to third place with 9%, with Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine in first place with 13% and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum second with 11%. Sixty-four percent were undecided. The large number of undecideds in both parties suggests neither race has gelled ……. Georgia: Abrams owes the IRS, but is it a big Deal? Revelations in state Rep. Stacey Abram’s (D) financial filing for her gubernatorial candidacy revealed that she owes the IRS $54,000, but The Political Insider column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that Gov. Nathan Deal (R) had a host of financial problems, including bankruptcy and the sale of the family home, but was elected anyway.  Sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose .…….