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Republican wins racially charged Senate race in Mississippi

Republican wins racially charged Senate race in Mississippi

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith won Mississippi's special election runoff for the US Senate late Tuesday.

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

A week before the runoff election to decide who would permanently fill the seat Hyde-Smith was appointed to after longtime Sen.

A lot of Democrats had hoped that deep red state MS would turn out like deep red state Alabama after Hyde-Smith got herself into hot water.

It began when video emerged online of her telling supporters earlier this month that she'd be "on the front row" if one of her supporters "invited me to a public hanging".

Hyde-Smith was projected to win by about 70,000 votes over Espy, a former congressman and agriculture secretary under Barack Obama.

But Hyde-Smith and Trump insisted that she's a loyal supporter of the president's agenda.

GM to Cease Production of Chevy Cruze at Lordstown Plant
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Hyde-Smith's win marks the end of the final Senate contest of 2018, leaving the balance of control in the Senate at 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats, a 2-seat pickup for the GOP. Her campaign said it was a joke, but that explanation backfired when the black student seen laughing in a picture from the event her campaign posted on Twitter responded that Hyde-Smith's campaign was using him as a prop. What did help Hyde-Smith though is that Trump is well liked in the state. Remember her Republican opponent in round one was the even more conservative Chris McDaniel, whose voters would not be inclined to vote for Espy. They were able to pick up a net gain of two seats in 2018 in part because there were five Democratic incumbents running in states Trump won by 19 points or more in 2016.

Espy was a clear underdog in the runoff election to unseat Hyde-Smith, who was appointed by the governor to complete Cochran's term. And she strategically avoided press questions as Espy's campaign criticized her for the comments. After nine days of not commenting on her remarks and the controversy they generated, Hyde-Smith made a pseudo-apology during the Senate debate on November 20.

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

However, she immediately added during the debate: "I also recognize that this comment was twisted, and it was turned into a weapon to be used against me".

The runoff contest drew comparisons to the Alabama Senate special election previous year, when Democrat Doug Jones won a narrow victory against Roy Moore, after the Republican faced multiple accusations from women that he had molested them when they were teenagers.

"The reason we won is because Mississippians know me, they know my heart", Hyde-Smith said Tuesday night. Trump attended two get-out-the-vote rallies in the state on Monday.

Hyde-Smith's "public hanging" remark had caused her financial prowess to dwindle, as Walmart, Major League Baseball, AT&T and other corporate entities asked her to return campaign donations.


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