Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Re-Election in Mississippi Runoff Election

30 November, 2018, 03:10 | Author: Angel Logan
  • BREAKING: Republicans Win Mississippi Senate Race Despite Media Blitz, Report Says

In Mississippi, Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has won a runoff special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Thad Cochran, who retired earlier this year for health reasons.

Hyde-Smith was heavily criticized after video footage emerged of her saying of a supporter in Tupelo, Mississippi, "if he invited me to a public hanging, I would be on the front row".

She thanked President Donald Trump for his support, including two campaign stops he made Monday.

Hyde-Smith's win is historic - she's the first woman to be elected to the Senate from Mississippi. "We still do have a very divided state". Hyde-Smith received 41.5% and Espy just behind her at 40.6%.

The video sparked a furor in a state with a history of racism and violence against blacks, including lynchings, and fueled Democratic hopes of an upset in a state where 38 percent of the population is black. In and itself that is not necessarily problematic, but the caption Hyde-Smith posted below the photo, presumably written by her, clearly said that Confederate artifacts and weapons represent "Mississippi history at its best!" Hyde-Smith was appointed to temporarily succeed him. Under all circumstances, in an incredibly bitter race, Espy remained collected and did not give in to the controversy swirling around Hyde-Smith. She said the "public hanging" comment was "an exaggerated expression of regard" for a fellow cattle rancher.

The contest caps a campaign season that exposed persistent racial divisions in America - and the willingness of some political candidates to exploit them to win elections.

BREAKING: Republicans Win Mississippi Senate Race Despite Media Blitz, Report Says
BREAKING: Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Re-Election in Mississippi Runoff Election

Republicans even privately acknowledged that Hyde-Smith mangled her response to the video, and it wasn't until a debate last week that she offered a qualified apology. Working with the state Democratic Party, the campaign sent millions of text messages reminding potential supporters to vote.

Several businesses, including giant retailer Walmart, had demanded Hyde-Smith return their donations after her public hanging remark. The state could soon have its first elected female senator or first black senator since Reconstruction.

Hyde-Smith called her suppression comment a joke. They also held onto the two Republican seats that were thought to be at least vaguely competitive (Mississippi and Tennessee) in states that were about as red.

Speaking to supporters after her win, Hyde-Smith vowed to fight for everyone in the state when she goes to Washington. The 64-year-old Democrat previously served in the House of Representatives for six years before going on to serve as President Bill Clinton's secretary of agriculture from 1993 to 1994.

The runoff to serve the last two years of former Republican Senator Thad Cochran's term was necessary because neither Espy nor Hyde-Smith gained more than 50 percent of the vote in a November 6 special election with four candidates. "And I'm really sorry they bought into that", she said.

When asked to elaborate on her remarks, she added: "I'm a cowgirl, and when a cowgirl references western movies that I've seen hundreds of, and somebody twists it, that's just it, you've got to roll with the punches", reports ABC News.

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