Cindy Hyde-Smith, 'Public Hanging' Aficionado, Projected Winner Of Mississippi U.S. Senate Runoff Race
Her Tuesday win means that Republicans will hold 53 seats to Democrats' 47 seats in the Senate in January.
November 28, 2018 at 2:19 pm
Republican senatorial candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Democratic challenger Mike Espy in Tuesday's runoff election, NBC News projects.
With 53.0 percent of the vote to Espy's 46.1 percent, Hyde-Smith's victory makes her the first woman elected to the Senate from Mississippi and effectively makes the Republican majority in the Senate grow to 53 Senators compared to the 47 seats held by the Democrats. Hyde-Smith, an acolyte to President Donald Trump, was appointed by GOP Governor Phil Bryant after Republican Senator Thad Cochran stepped down.
Espy is a former congressman and former agricultural secretary.
According to CBS News, Hyde-Smith and Espy advanced to a runoff because neither side won 50 percent of the vote in the general election on November 6. Hyde-Smith won 41.2 percent, while Espy solidified 40.8 percent, and Republican Chris McDaniel grabbed 16.5 percent.
At her victory party in Jackson, Hyde-Smith hailed the state's notorious conservative beliefs for her victory.
"This win tonight, this victory, it's about our conservative values," she told her supporters. "It's about the things that mean the most to all of us Mississippians: Our faith, our family. But it's those things that I will take to Washington, D.C., that I want to represent all of Mississippians with these values. And I will fight for it, I assure you, every single day. I am your warrior."
In his concession speech, Espy admitted that this was "not the result we were hoping for," but he is proud of the historical campaign he ran and the support he received across the state.
"We are not going to stop moving our state forward just because of one election. I look forward to finding new ways to do just that," Espy declared.
In the days leading up to the election, several corporations came under fire for contributing funds to Hyde-Smith's campaign, especially after she made racist remarks about public lynchings earlier in November.
Nearly a week after footage surfaced of the 59-year-old candidate joking about attending a "public hanging" went viral, retail giant Walmart made a $2,000 donation to her campaign on November 18. Shortly after the public caught wind of the contribution, Walmart announced it was "requesting a refund" from Hyde-Smith. Similar instances happened with Major League Baseball and Facebook. Following her apology for the remarks, photos of her surfaced sporting Confederate gear.
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