Cindy Hyde-Smith wins MS senate seat in special election

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

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

Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith has defeated Democratic challenger Mike Espy in the state's runoff election for the U.S. Senate seat.

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 per cent of the vote in a November 6 special election with four candidates.

Shortly after the win Tuesday, Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith on your big WIN in the Great State of Mississippi".

"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.

Hyde-Smith's campaign website describes her as a "rock-solid conservative". After taking her current Senate seat, Hyde-Smith became the first woman to represent MS in either chamber of Congress.

Speaking to reporters during her victory speech, Hyde-Smith briefly mentioned her comments, which threatened to derail her campaign. "This is about the people of Mississippi, and what's important to the people of Mississippi", Hyde-Smith told a crowd of about 80 supporters at the Westin in Jackson on Tuesday night.

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Asked about her remark in a debate, Hyde-Smith said she would "certainly apologize" to anyone who was offended, but then pivoted to an attack on her opponent.

Indeed, almost a dozen Black Republicans interviewed by McClatchy dismissed Hyde-Smith's public hanging remark. "I am your warrior", she says at one point, referring to the values she wants to represent when she goes to Washington. Her election gives Republicans a 53-47 majority in the Senate, up from their current 51 seats.

Her supporters said the furor over her comments was overblown.

With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Hyde-Smith led with 56 percent of the vote, to 44 percent for Espy.

Cindy: 'I guess what I'm really saying is F*** Hyde-Smith and anyone who voted for her. The state last elected a Democrat to the Senate in 1982. 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.

Still, Espy often struggled to address accusations of ethical lapses. Espy was acquitted of all charges. Hyde-Smith's camp painted Espy as a corrupt politician, highlighting his federal corruption indictments when he served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in the 1990s.

"Mississippi was one of the last two states to have never elected a woman to Congress", said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, according to USA Today.

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