Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins Mississippi US Senate runoff amid racial controversies

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will win...

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 2:20 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 2:21 PM

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will win Mississippi's US Senate runoff election, CNN projects, in a contest that centered on her actions and comments evoking the state's dark history of racism and slavery.

Hyde-Smith will defeat Democratic challenger Mike Espy, a former congressman and agriculture secretary, in the last Senate race to be decided in 2018. The victory will make her the first woman ever elected to Congress from Mississippi.

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Cindy Hyde-Smith

Continents and regions

Discrimination

Education

Education systems and institutions

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Ethics

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Marketing and advertising

Mississippi

North America

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Primary and secondary education

Racism and racial discrimination

Societal issues

Society

Southeastern United States

The Americas

United States

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US Federal elections

US political parties

US Republican Party

US Senate

US Senate elections

Her win on Tuesday means Republicans will hold 53 seats to Democrats' 47 seats in the Senate in January. The GOP grew its majority in the Senate by two seats in this year's midterm elections even as Democrats took control of the House.

Hyde-Smith's victory also means that there will be 24 women in the Senate next year. That will set a new record for women serving in the Senate, one more than the current high, set during this Congress.

Hyde-Smith will finish out the final two years of former Sen. Thad Cochran's term, who retired earlier this year due to health concerns. Hyde-Smith will have to run again in 2020 to serve a full six-year term.

RELATED: A political blockade is colliding with the evidence on climate change

President Donald Trump visited Mississippi on Monday to rally Republican voters behind Hyde-Smith after her comments about a "public hanging" set off weeks of controversy.

It began when video emerged online of her telling supporters earlier this month that she'd be "on the front row" if one of her supporters "invited me to a public hanging." She later called the comments an "exaggerated expression of regard," but her use of the phrase brought memories of Mississippi's history of lynchings to the forefront and put the contest under the national microscope.

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.

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

Hyde-Smith's comments prompted deeper dives into her history.

The same progressive blogger who published the video of her using the phrase "public hanging" later published one in which Hyde-Smith told a small group at Mississippi State University that suppressing the votes of students at other colleges was "a great thing." Her campaign said it was a joke, but that explanation backfired when the black student seen laughing in a picture from the event her campaign posted on Twitter responded that Hyde-Smith's campaign was using him as a prop.

On Friday, the Jackson Free Press reported that Hyde-Smith had attended a private high school that was founded in 1970 so that white parents could avoid attempts to integrate public schools. Hyde-Smith's daughter later attended a similar private school established around the same time, according to the Free Press. The senator's campaign responded to the report by attacking the "liberal media."

Over the weekend, CNN reported that Hyde-Smith once promoted a measure that praised a Confederate soldier's effort to "defend his homeland" and had pushed a revisionist view of the Civil War.

In photos posted to her Facebook account in 2014, Hyde-Smith was pictured posing with Confederate artifacts during a visit to Beauvoir, the home and library of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The caption on the post read, "Mississippi history at its best!"

Democrats had hoped a surge in turnout among black voters -- who make up nearly 40% of Mississippi's population, the largest share in the nation -- could carry Espy to victory in a state that is highly polarized along racial lines, with most white voters backing GOP candidates and black voters supporting Democrats.

Espy's campaign hammered Hyde-Smith with television ads that cast her as an embarrassment to a state that has attempted to overcome its history of slavery and racism.

"We've worked hard to overcome the stereotypes that hurt our economy and cost us jobs. Her words should not reflect Mississippi's values, either," a narrator said in one ad. The ad also called Hyde-Smith "so embarrassing, she'd be a disaster for Mississippi."

Several companies that had donated to Hyde-Smith's campaign, including Walmart, publicly withdrew their support for the senator over the "public hanging" comment.

The controversies surrounding her set off a major push by national Republicans to avoid the same embarrassment they'd suffered last year in Alabama over the Senate campaign of Roy Moore and save Hyde-Smith.

While Hyde-Smith largely stayed off the campaign trail, the party's infrastructure rallied to her defense. GOP groups spent $4 million on the Mississippi runoff -- much more than Democrats' $1.2 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Republican groups spent more than twice as much as Democrats on television advertisements, per the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.

Trump's visits to Mississippi on Monday night were also seen as bid to rally the Republican base to vote in an election taking place two days after the Thanksgiving weekend.

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Williamsport
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 85°
Frankfort
Overcast
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 87°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
87° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
87° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 87°
Logansport
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 88°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45952

Reported Deaths: 2650
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11387679
Lake4872240
Elkhart308543
Allen2677114
St. Joseph184965
Cass16369
Hamilton1484100
Hendricks136699
Johnson1235118
Porter68537
Madison64363
Tippecanoe6408
Clark62244
Bartholomew57844
Howard54356
LaPorte53925
Kosciusko4952
LaGrange4596
Jackson4553
Noble44728
Vanderburgh4306
Hancock42935
Delaware42648
Boone42242
Shelby41625
Marshall4123
Floyd36344
Morgan32031
Montgomery28720
Grant28526
Clinton2792
Dubois2606
White25810
Monroe25628
Decatur24632
Henry23515
Lawrence23124
Vigo2248
Harrison20822
Dearborn20422
Warrick20129
Greene18431
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1547
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1286
Franklin1248
Steuben1232
Perry1209
Ripley1127
Carroll1092
Jasper1092
Wabash1072
Fayette967
Newton9510
Whitley814
Randolph764
Starke733
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson651
Washington641
Pulaski631
Knox620
Clay594
Rush573
Benton480
Adams451
Owen451
Gibson442
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey350
Spencer311
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland250
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0194

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events