Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Few lines at polls as MS votes in US Senate runoff

Few lines at polls as MS votes in US Senate runoff

The Senate runoff on Tuesday is between Republican senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy, in a race that has increasingly taken on racial overtones.

President Donald Trump is set to hit the campaign trail just weeks after the 2018 midterms elections. Her campaign said that was a joke.

Hyde-Smith, as you may recall, said during her support of friend and supporter Colin Hutchinson, "I would fight a circle saw for him".

"She certainly didn't mean that and it was taken a certain way, but she certainly didn't mean it", he said.

Hyde-Smith has drawn fire for a 2014 photo showing her wearing a replica hat of a Confederate soldier, and a video from last month showing her praising a supporter by saying, 'If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row'.

As Trump praised Hyde-Smith at two high-profile rallies in different parts of the state, her opponent, Democrat Mike Espy spoke at a predominantly African-American church and described his campaign as an effort to reach across the "chasm of racial division". Whoever wins the election will fill the last two years of Cochran's term, and then have to run again in 2020.

The sign above refers to the case of Willie Jones Jr, a black man who was found hanging from a tree earlier this year. Democrats said the remark had racial overtones and harkened back to a darker chapter in MS history, especially since Espy would be the state's first African-American senator since Reconstruction.

Since the controversy, Hyde-Smith has stayed out of the spotlight and refused to elaborate on her comments or apology.

Two nooses were found hanging at the Mississippi State Capitol on Monday morning around 7:15, according to NBC affiliate WLBT.

President Donald Trump fired up a MS rally crowd Monday by referring to barbed-wire fences erected by military troops along the U.S. -Mexico border as "pretty nasty".

Donald Trump during a rally for Cindy Hyde-Smith
Donald Trump during a rally for Cindy Hyde Smith

In the aftermath of the video, Republicans anxious they could face a repeat of last year's special election in Alabama, in which a flawed Republican candidate handed Democrats a reliable GOP Senate seat in the Deep South. "We have been sensitive to race relations in this state", Bryant said, Think Progress reported.

"I am asking all Mississippians to give me your vote tomorrow so I can ... protect our conservative values", she said.

The win makes Hyde-Smith, 59, the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi.

MS - which still has the Confederate battle emblem on its state flag - has a history of racially motivated lynchings.

"This comment was twisted and it was turned into a weapon to be used against me", Hyde-Smith said.

GULFPORT, MISS-Republicans in MS may not be in love with Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the Senate earlier this year after longtime Sen.

But there have been other revelations about Hyde-Smith's past.

Espy, who is a lawyer, said: "I found out later that this guy, the president, was a really bad guy". "I wish we could be like Alabama who had enough with Roy Moore, you know".

She also urged voters to disregard polls showing Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith leading by as many as 10 percentage points, pointing to her upset primary win against outgoing Representative Michael Capuano.

Later, at a Christmas-themed rally in Biloxi, where Trump emerged on the stage from a chimney, he said that Democrats want to impose an "extreme job-killing agenda" and that a vote for Espy would be a vote for a "Democrat agenda of socialism and open borders". "Because I was not guilty", Espy told the Associated Press in October.

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