GOP Senator Wins Mississippi Runoff After Uproar Over ‘Hanging’ Comment

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In Tuesday's race, 59-year-old Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy, a former USA agriculture secretary who hoped to become Mississippi's first African-American senator since Reconstruction.

During the campaign, she said she would sit "in the front row" at a "public hanging."

Meanwhile, her supporters, as well as some political analysts, said the furor over her comments was overblown, something Hyde-Smith alluded to in her victory speech Tuesday night.

Her win Tuesday makes Hyde-Smith the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi. "We are all proud of you".

Espy's campaign argued that Hyde-Smith's "toxic comments" were an embarrassment to MS and could scare away economic investments. The remark, Espy and various national Democratic groups charged, evoked Misssissippi's history in the early 20th century as the southern state with the most lynchings of black citizens.

She was supposed to enjoy an easy path to election following a November 6 primary that included her, Espy and conservative Republican firebrand Chris McDaniel. She called it an "exaggerated expression of regard". McDaniel's narrow loss in a primary runoff, after he had received the most votes in the initial round of voting, fueled conservative anger at the Republican establishment and became a rightwing cause célèbre for years afterwards.

"While we are hopeful that the Senator-elect will prove herself worthy of her new office, this election demonstrates the need to continue broadening the tent of civic and democratic participation in our nation", the pioneering civil rights organization said in a brief statement.

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The victory for Hyde-Smith comes after the left-wing mainstream media launched an all-out effort to stop Hyde-Smith by distorting remarks that she had made and past actions as signs that she was a racist.

Espy, meanwhile, would have become Mississippi's first black senator since the era of Reconstruction.

Her supporters said the furore over her comments was overblown.

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith held a strong lead in polling but there was talk in the last few days that this could turn into a closer race than it appeared. Thad Cochran stepped down due to health reasons, defeated former congressman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.

As it stands now, major American corporations and brands including Walmart, Major League Baseball, Google and AT&T have all demanded that Hyde-Smith return their donations to her campaign.

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.

The president also sent a clear message to the people in the caravans who still believe they might make it into the United States. But if black voters rise to 40 percent of the electorate and Espy wins 9 out of 10, he needs less than a quarter of white votes for victory. "And I'm really sorry they bought into that", she said. "Her words should not reflect Mississippi's values, either", a narrator said in one ad.