GOP US Sen. Hyde-Smith Wins Divisive Runoff

GOP US Sen. Hyde-Smith Wins Divisive Runoff

GOP US Sen. Hyde-Smith Wins Divisive Runoff

The comments from Hyde-Smith, who is white, were quickly seized upon by Espy, who was vying to become not only the first Democrat the state had elected to the Senate in almost four decades, but also the first African-American senator from the state since Reconstruction.

Beating former United States Secretary of Agriculture under Bill Clinton, Mike Espy, Hyde-Smith will retake the seat she was appointed to after retiring Sen.

The election was a direct referendum on the president, whose multiple rallies for Hyde-Smith, who has been embroiled in a series of racist exposes, probably helped push the Republican over the finish line.

Hyde-Smith is the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi.

At a November 2 campaign event, Hyde-Smith said of a supporter: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row".

Following her victory, President Donald Trump paid tribute to the candidate, who received his constant backing.

With all 35 Senate races decided, the Republicans hold a 53-47 edge - a pickup of two seats.

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Chances of a Democratic victory in Mississippi- a state Donald Trump won by almost 18 percentage points in the 2016 election and whose senior senator, Republican Roger Wicker, was re-elected by almost 20 points earlier this month - still appeared remote.

This didn't sit well with Hyde-Smith, who "strongly objected" to the ceremony and asked that state law change to provide "clear and straightforward definitions about what activities can take place on the property owned by the State of MS". A two-term state agriculture commissioner, the Republican was viewed as the best bet to head off a primary challenger from conservative firebrand Chris McDaniel, a state senator who had nearly knocked off Cochran in 2014. The state last elected a Democrat to the Senate in 1982. Thad Cochran, the former Appropriations Committee chairman who retired in April due to health concerns. Hyde-Smith apologized for her "public hanging" comment, which she maintains was made in jest.

The runoff contest drew comparisons to the Alabama Senate special election past 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. "Her words should not reflect Mississippi's values, either", a narrator said in one ad.

The race had appeared to narrow after comments the senator made rekindled memories of Mississippi's history of lynching blacks and voter suppression.

In 2014, Hyde-Smith posted a picture on Facebook of herself wearing a replica of a Confederate army hat.

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". And it was revealed that she'd attended a private high school that was created to avoid desegregation - and sent her daughter to one as well. Trump attended two get-out-the-vote rallies in the state on Monday.

In the wake of her remarks, several organizations, including Major League Baseball and Walmart, asked that their donations to Hyde-Smith's campaign be returned.

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