Mississippi Senate race could make history

MSNBC host tries to pin ‘racist’ display on Republican – and falls flat on her face

MSNBC host tries to pin ‘racist’ display on Republican – and falls flat on her face

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith won Mississippi's Senate race against Democrat Mike Espy after joking about a "public hanging" in a state known for its lynchings.

Cindy Hyde-Smith beat the African-American Democratic candidate Mike Espy with an estimated 55% share of the vote. She accused Espy of twisting her words for political gain.

Mike Espy made a concession speech saying, "she has my prayers as she goes to Washington to unite a very divided MS". You or I could have done the same thing.

Espy says he's proud of the "historic campaign" he ran and is thanking supporters for their help.

"We built the largest grassroots organization our state has seen in a generation", he added.

Hyde-Smith is a former state agriculture and commerce commissioner who was appointed in April by the state's governor after the sudden retirement of Republican Senator Thad Cochran for health reasons. Ultimately, the lack of a more honest apology, and the questions surrounding why Hyde-Smith would make the comment in the first place - especially in light of Mississippi's bleak history of public hangings of black Americans - is deeply troubling. "This looks like a mid-to-high single digit Hyde-Smith (R) win at the moment".

She was supposed to enjoy an easy path to election following a November 6 primary that included her, Espy and conservative Republican firebrand Chris McDaniel.

USA media projected that Hyde-Smith would defeat her black challenger in a campaign that recalled the state's history of racist violence.

Trump, who campaigned for Hyde-Smith, tweeted his congratulations to her shortly after the race was called.

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The runoff was rocked by a video showing her praise a supporter by saying she'd attend a "public hanging" if he invited her. "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.

In 2014, Hyde-Smith posted a picture on Facebook of herself wearing a replica of a Confederate army hat. She called it an "exaggerated expression of regard".

After hearing the election result, Espy phoned Hyde-Smith to congratulate her.

Espy, 64, campaigned as a moderate who would work with Trump and Republicans to benefit the state. Trump endorsed her over McDaniel even though the challenger was the more Trump-like candidate.

Hyde-Smith received 41.5% and Espy just behind her at 40.6%. And she delivered perhaps the strongest Senate floor speech supporting Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's troubled nomination.

Teetering after several rhetorical gaffes drew a harsh spotlight to her campaign, Ms. Hyde-Smith received a last-minute boost from President Trump, who appeared at two rallies with her on Monday and cautioned Mississippians that a victory for Mr.

"To the lawless caravans and illegal trespassers marching toward our border, it is very simple: Turn back now, go back home, we will not let you in", Trump said.

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