Backed Senate candidate wins election after controversy in Mississippi

Backed Senate candidate wins election after controversy in Mississippi

Backed Senate candidate wins election after controversy in Mississippi

In the final stretch, she portrayed the contest as a battle of ideologies and was aided by President Donald Trump, who visited the state on Monday for two rallies, as well as GOP groups who poured resources in the final stretch to bolster her campaign.

Incumbent Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was leading Democratic challenger Mike Espy, a former congressman, by 55.2 percent to 44.8 percent with four fifths of precincts reporting, according to Fox News and NBC.

Hyde-Smith is a former state agriculture and commerce commissioner who was appointed in April by the state's governor after the sudden retirement of Republican Senator Thad Cochran for health reasons.

Trump congratulated Hyde-Smith on Twitter late Tuesday night.

"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.

The runoff drew national attention after Hyde-Smith made a series of racially loaded remarks, most notoriously when she said of a supporter "if he invited me to a public hanging, I would be on the front row". "She has my prayers as she goes to Washington to unite a very divided MS", he said.

Hyde-Smith, 59, is the first woman ever elected to either chamber of 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".

It set off a panic among Republicans who thought those revelations would ignite Black voter turnout. Hyde-Smith apologized for her "public hanging" comment, which she maintains was made in jest. "I am your warrior", she says at one point, referring to the values she wants to represent when she goes to Washington. This gave Senate Republicans a 53 to 47 majority-a net pickup of two seats-for the 2019 legislative session. She said she was joking in each instance.

Cindy: 'I guess what I'm really saying is F*** Hyde-Smith and anyone who voted for her.

The controversies surrounding her set off a major push by national Republicans to avoid the same embarrassment they'd suffered past year in Alabama over the Senate campaign of Roy Moore and save Hyde-Smith. Neither candidate won 50 percent of the vote in the general election, forcing a runoff.

"I'm a Republican. I support Cindy Hyde-Smith". Espy talked often about the comment during the runoff.

Gbagbo, who is now on trial for human rights abuses, has refused to cede power in the region claiming that all who oppose him are attempting to overthrow his legitimate government (despite losing the election). Those turned out to be a form of protest against Hyde-Smith, thought that wasn't clear when the story was first reported. 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.

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