Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins US Senate race in Mississippi

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins US Senate race in Mississippi

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins US Senate race in Mississippi

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Democratic challenger Mike Espy to retain the Mississippi Senate seat she was appointed to earlier this year, according to the Associated Press.

The runoff to serve the last two years of former Republican Senator Thad Cochran's term was triggered after neither Espy nor Hyde-Smith secured more than half of the vote needed to settle the November 6 special election.

Hyde-Smith's win gives Republicans a total of 53 Senate seats, slightly strengthening the party's majority. "We are all very proud of you!"

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

Hyde-Smith's campaign website describes her as a "rock-solid conservative".

She vowed in her victory speech to represent all Mississippians. Reporters uncovered a pattern of her touting the Confederacy in the past, from bills she introduced in the statehouse to honor the last daughter of a Confederate soldier and rename a state highway after Confederate President Jefferson Davis to her visit to Davis's home, where she posted a photo with the caption "Mississippi history at its best". Praising a supporter she said: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row". Espy, who is black, called her comments "reprehensible".

"While this same-sex couple's request for a permit to utilize one of our state's facilities for a "commitment ceremony" is not being defined as a marriage ceremony, it is personally troubling for me", she said at the time, citing her "personal and religious beliefs".

BREAKING: Republicans Win Mississippi Senate Race Despite Media Blitz, Report Says

With the GOP holding onto the seat in MS, they have achieved a net gain of two seats in the Senate, entering the next Congress in January with a 53-47 seat advantage.

President Donald Trump, seemingly anxious to cap off the 2018 midterm election season with a Republican upset, urged voters on Tuesday to turn out for Hyde-Smith, the embattled Republican who has faced mounting backlash over racially divisive incidents that surfaced in the weeks following the general election.

Most of her supporters shrugged off her public-hanging comments.

"I'm a Republican. I support Cindy Hyde-Smith".

This was a runoff election to fill the seat vacated by Sen.

Those remarks set off a national maelstrom, with Democrats seeing them as a reference to lynching in a state that had the highest number of lynchings in the Jim Crow era.

Still, Espy often struggled to address accusations of ethical lapses. Hyde-Smith got 55% of the vote and Espy got 45%. He was acquitted on 30 corruption charges, but Republicans ran ads calling him "too corrupt for the Clintons". In the meantime, Mike Espy, who didn't have the progressive street cred or media buzz enjoyed by Abrams and Gillum, did an admirable job of challenging the ancient race-driven status quo of Mississippi.

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