Backed candidate projected to win Mississippi Senate runoff
30 November, 2018, 03:06 | Author: Lucy Floyd
During that same debate, Espy, who was Agriculture secretary during the Clinton administration, accused Hyde-Smith of giving the state a "black eye". "Her words should not reflect Mississippi's values, either", a narrator said in one ad. But she also struck a unifying note saying, "I want everybody to know, no matter who you voted for today, I'm going to always represent every Mississippian".
Espy, addressing his supporters in Jackson, Mississippi, said "I am proud of the historic campaign we ran and grateful for the support we received from across Mississippi". "It's given our state another black eye that we don't need".
She will serve out the remaining two years of former Republican Senator Thad Cochran's term, whom she was appointed to replace earlier this year after he stepped down due to health concerns.
"The state has a history of racially motivated lynchings, and the comment angered many voters".
BREAKING: Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Re-Election in Mississippi Runoff Election
The outcome will not alter control of the Senate, but a Hyde-Smith win seals a 53-47 Republican majority in the chamber. Hyde-Smith made some serious errors, but do they outweigh those of Espy?
Hyde-Smith herself contributed to that effort with her much-publicized comment late in the campaign that she so-trusted a supporter she would attend a "public hanging" with him.
Most notably, at a public campaign event, Hyde-Smith said that if a supporter invited her to "a public hanging, I'd be on the front row". And it was revealed that she'd attended a private high school that was created to avoid desegregation - and sent her daughter to one as well. "Maybe we want to make it just a little more hard".
While Hyde-Smith largely stayed off the campaign trail, the party's infrastructure rallied to her defense.
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Speaking to reporters during her victory speech, Hyde-Smith briefly mentioned her comments, which threatened to derail her campaign.
The Jackson Free Press reported that Hyde-Smith attended a so-called "segregation academy", one of hundreds of private schools in MS that were established in the 1960s and 1970s after federal courts ordered public schools to desegregate.
But Elizabeth Gallinghouse, 84, from the coastal town of Diamondhead, voted for Hyde-Smith and said neither the "hanging" comments nor Hyde-Smith's appearance in the Confederate hat bothered her. She initially called the public hanging remark "an exaggerated expression of regard". Trump visited the state to campaign for her. Trump endorsed her over McDaniel even though the challenger was the more Trump-like candidate.
She rode around in a bus dubbed the "MAGA Wagon" and touted how she voted with Trump "100 percent of the time". McDaniel finished a distant third in the state's November 6 primary but received 25 percent of the white vote.
However, fearful Republicans scrambled on Monday to prevent Hyde-Smith from losing the Senate seat, prompting President Donald Trump to hold rallies in the state for Hyde-Smith in the hope of turning out his base to vote for her.
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MS - which still has the Confederate battle emblem on its state flag - has a history of racially motivated lynchings. Donald Trump praised Ms Hyde-Smith as he headed to Mississippi to lead two rallies for the senator.
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