Hyde-Smith tops Espy after racially-tinged Senate campaign

Cindy Hyde-Smith

MSNBC host Nicole Wallace received immediate correction from one of her guests when she tried to pin a "racist" demonstration in MS on a Republican candidate in that state's election for a U.S. Senate seat.

Cindy Hyde-Smith beat the African-American Democratic candidate Mike Espy with an estimated 55% share of the vote.

"There are some still pretending it's not over, but sorry, it's over", Wasserman continued, adding: "The only question now is the final margin". Her win allows her to complete the final two years of Cochran's six-year term.

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Espy said he called Hyde-Smith to concede the race and wish her well.

"Well the nooses were put up in protest to highlight Cindy Hyde-Smith and her statement", clarified her guest Elise Jordan. During a televised debate nine days after the video was publicized, she apologized to "anyone that was offended by my comments", but also said the remark was used as a "weapon" against her.

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.

'Mississippians know me and they know my heart, ' she said.




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. She will serve the remaining two years of Cochran's term before the seat is up for election again in 2020.

Her comments brought more scrutiny to her campaign. Reporters uncovered a pattern of her touting the Confederacy in the past, from bills she introduced in the statehouse to honor the last daughter of a Confederate soldier and rename a state highway after Confederate President Jefferson Davis to her visit to Davis's home, where she posted a photo with the caption "Mississippi history at its best".

When the extended footage of the encounter was released for context, the comment became more troubling because it revealed Hyde-Smith was using the phrase in an attempt to thank a supporter for saying she would fight for him.

Espy, 64, campaigned as a moderate who would work with Trump and Republicans to benefit the state.

Additionally, when Hyde-Smith was in school she attended a whites-only segregated academy, set up by parents to avoid racially integrated schools. Trump endorsed her over McDaniel even though the challenger was the more Trump-like candidate.

Hyde-Smith was also recorded earlier in November telling another joke in which she suggested liberals should have their votes suppressed. She has voted with Trump 100 percent of the time, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.

But Hyde-Smith triumphed by depicting Espy as too liberal for MS, which last elected a Democrat to the Senate in 1982, and by touting her support for President Donald Trump, who won the state by 18 percentage points in 2016. "We are all very proud of you!"

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