After a hard-fought runoff campaign, Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith will remain in the Senate, representing Mississippi. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Boosted by President Trump, Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy in a Senate runoff election Tuesday that reopened old wounds from the state’s past battles with race and civil rights.
Mrs. Hyde-Smith survived several campaign missteps, including a video clip in November showing her praising a cattle rancher at a campaign event by saying if the rancher invited her to “a public hanging,” she would be in “the front row.” The remark stirred up memories of Mississippi’s history of racist lynchings.
Mrs. Hyde-Smith beat Mr. Espy by less than 10 percentage points, far short of Mr. Trump’s level of support in 2016, when he carried the state by 18 points.
“The reason we won is because Mississippians know me and they know my heart,” she said Tuesday night. “I’ve said all along this isn’t about me, this is about the people of Mississippi and what’s important to the people of Mississippi. You know, this win tonight, this victory, it’s about our conservative values, it’s about the things that mean the most to all of us Mississippians, our faith, our family.”
Mrs. Hyde-Smith is the first woman ever elected to represent Mississippi in Washington, having been appointed to her current Senate seat by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the vacancy created when Sen. Thad Cochran resigned earlier this year citing poor health. She now will serve the final two years of Mr. Cochran’s six-year term.
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