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Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has won Mississippi’s Senate runoff, defeating Democrat Mike Espy despite controversy over recent comments. Hyde-Smith had 56 percent of the vote to Espy’s 44 percent when the Associated Press called the race with more than three-quarters of all precincts reporting. The result means Republicans will hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate next year.
The runoff for the remainder of Thad Cochran’s term was held because neither candidate got a majority of the vote in a crowded race Nov. 6. Since then, Hyde-Smith has drawn scrutiny for saying she would attend a “public hanging” for a supporter, before apologizing and calling the comment an exaggerated form of regard.
Hyde-Smith - Election - Challenge - Espy - Congressman
Hyde-Smith faced an unusually energetic special election challenge from Espy, a former congressman and Clinton-era agriculture secretary who inspired slim Democratic hopes of repeating the party’s miraculous Senate victory in Alabama last year, as Hyde-Smith faced a storm of controversy over recent remarks about attending a “public hanging.”
Espy, who is African-American, called Hyde-Smith’s “public hanging” comments a “black eye” for the state. Hyde-Smith ultimately apologized to “anyone offended” by her remarks, which she said were an exaggerated form of regard for a supporter. But the comments, which some viewed as connected to Mississippi’s history of lynching, brought unexpected scrutiny to Hyde-Smith, putting Republicans on edge even in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1982.
President - Donald - Trump - State - Monday
President Donald Trump visited the state Monday in an attempt to make sure GOP voters are engaged for the runoff.
“Don’t take any chances,” Trump implored supporters at the first of two rallies. “You have to vote. We cannot allow Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to erode [GOP control of the Senate] by winning the great state of Mississippi.”
Hyde-Smith - Victory - Woman - Mississippi - Senate
Hyde-Smith’s victory makes her the first woman elected to represent Mississippi in the Senate.
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