Hyde-Smith defeats Espy in Senate runoff election

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MS voters went back to the polls today for an unusual special U.S. Senate election runoff, with incumbent Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith (who was appointed to the position earlier this year) heavily favored over former congressman and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.

Multiple sources, including the Associated Press, have called the race in favor of Hyde-Smith.

President Donald Trump endorsed Hyde-Smith and rallied for her after the comments became public.

Congratulations to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith on your big WIN in the Great State of Mississippi.

Espy, 64, campaigned as a moderate who would work with Trump and Republicans to benefit the state. Hyde-Smith now leads 56 percent to 44 percent, although the remaining uncounted vote figures to be Democratic-leaning.

Espy followed the strategy of moderation that now-Sen.

Democrats had hoped a surge in turnout among black voters - who make up almost 40% of Mississippi's population, the largest share in the nation - could carry Espy to victory in a state that is highly polarized along racial lines, with most white voters backing GOP candidates and black voters supporting Democrats. However, Hyde-Smith's comments did not have the same electoral impact as the allegations of sexual assault against Moore did in Alabama.

In the final weeks of the runoff, Ms Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remark about making voting hard was a joke.

"Mississippi was one of the last two states to have never elected a woman to Congress", said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, according to USA Today. Her election gives Republicans a 53-47 majority in the Senate, up from their current 51 seats.

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U.S. President Donald Trump had said at the Biloxi campaign rally on November 26 that illegal immigrants, such as those participating in the caravans between Mexico and the United States, are unfairly disadvantaging American workers.

Hyde-Smith offered a brief apology to anyone who may have been offended.

The video sparked a furor in the deep South state that has a history of racism and violence against blacks, including lynchings.

I am hesitant to label anyone a racist given the complexities involved with determining a person's intent.

The "public hanging" comment also resonated with his supporters. She initially called the public hanging remark "an exaggerated expression of regard". Politico unearthed a 2014 post on Hyde-Smith's Facebook page that included a photo of her wearing a Confederate soldier's hat and holding a rifle during a visit to Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library in Biloxi.

But it was her odd gaffes that prompted intense discussion in the state and nationally about Mississippi's dark racial history. "She wasn't trying to send any messages".

As it stands now, major American corporations and brands including Walmart, Major League Baseball, Google and AT&T have all demanded that Hyde-Smith return their donations to her campaign.

Hyde-Smith won the election on a variety of promises including lower taxes, lighter regulations, protecting the life of unborn babies, and better support for the military, police, and war veterans.

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