Hyde-Smith defeats Espy in Senate runoff election

30 November, 2018, 03:05 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Supporters of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith celebrate during an election night party in Jackson Mississippi

"Mr President, thank you so much for all of your help", Hyde-Smith said during a victory speech, stressing that the race was about preserving the "conservative values" of the state. He said that to win, he can't just rely on African-American voters.

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.

The Republicans pumped resources into Mississippi, and U.S. president Donald Trump made a strong effort on behalf of Ms Hyde-Smith, holding last-minute rallies in Mississippi on Monday.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is the projected victor of the Senate runoff in MS, according to the Associated Press, overcoming a series of missteps that brought the state's dark history of racism and violence to the forefront. Hyde-Smith's daughter later attended a similar private school established around the same time, according to the Free Press. Hyde-Smith and her allies pounded on him for lobbying for the former president of the Ivory Coast, who faces charges of crimes against humanity. "We still do have a very divided state".

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

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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.

As it stands, Republicans will hold 53 seats next year and Democrats will have 47. Espy, who is black, called her comments "reprehensible".

Polls show four-term State Attorney Jim Hood defeating any Republican hopeful and becoming the state's first Democratic governor in 16 years.

She initially refused to apologize for the hanging remark, but said in a debate last week that she was sorry "for anyone that was offended".

The same progressive blogger who published the video of her using the phrase "public hanging" later published one in which Hyde-Smith told a small group at Mississippi State University that suppressing the votes of students at other colleges was "a great thing". But that didn't dissuade voters in deeply Republican Mississippi, the only state that still has Confederate insignia on its flag. Thad Cochran, who retired in April amid health concerns.

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The controversies surrounding her set off a major push by national Republicans to avoid the same embarrassment they'd suffered a year ago in Alabama over the Senate campaign of Roy Moore and save Hyde-Smith. But if black voters rise to 40 percent of the electorate and Espy wins 9 out of 10, he needs less than a quarter of white votes for victory.

Nooses were also spotted hanging from trees at the Mississippi Capitol the day before the vote took place.

The Hyde-Smith and Espy runoff was tainted by race-related controversies. "I resigned the contract". The caption on the post read, "Mississippi history at its best!"

"I've said all along, this isn't about me". She quickly pivoted to accusing her opponent of twisting her comment into a political attack against her.

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