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Vermont Now Only US State to Never Send a Woman to Congress

FILE - Dome of the United States Capitol, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., July 28, 2011 file photo.

Vermont is now the only state in the nation to have never sent a woman to Congress.

On Wednesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, a fellow Republican, to serve out the remainder of retiring GOP Sen. Thad Cochran's term.

Former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin, a Democrat, says "it's a little embarrassing to be beaten out by Mississippi."

One reason may be that Vermont has only one House of Representatives seat alongside its two Senate seats.

On the state level, women's participation in the Vermont Legislature is higher than the national average.

Kunin says there are multiple female candidates looking to run for higher office.

The 80-year-old Cochran is resigning from the Senate because of poor health.