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

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.

The runoff to serve the last two years of former Republican Senator Thad Cochran's term was necessary because neither Espy nor Hyde-Smith gained more than 50 per cent of the vote in a November 6 special election with four candidates. She faced off in a special election against Democratic former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.

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". A separate video showed her talking about "liberal folks" and making it "just a little more difficult" for them to vote.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith to the Senate in April to replace Sen.

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

Other questions about Hyde-Smith's past also arose - photos of her touring the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis with a caption that said, "Mississippi history at its best!"; a measure she'd once pushed in the state Senate for revisionist view of the Civil War as "The War Between the States"; and news that she'd attended an all-white private school like those founded in the South to circumvent integration decrees.

In the aftermath of the video, Republicans anxious they could face a repeat of last year's special election in Alabama, in which a flawed Republican candidate handed the Democrats a reliable Republican Senate seat in the Deep South. But she also struck a unifying note saying, "I want everybody to know, no matter who you voted for today, I'm going to always represent every Mississippian".

In 2014, Hyde-Smith posted a picture on Facebook of herself wearing a replica of a Confederate army hat. She later sent her daughter to a similar school. The GOP lost control of the House, where Democrats will assume the majority in January.

Hyde-Smith initially refused to apologize for the hanging remark, but said in a debate last week that she was sorry "for anyone that was offended".

Hyde-Smith tried to tether herself as close as possible to President Trump, touting her pro-Trump voting record and campaigning in a bus dubbed the "MAGA Wagon". However, in 2018, it is deeply troubling to hear the term "public hanging" being used in this context by a senator, particularly given the division in our politics.

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.

Hyde-Smith became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from MS with her victory. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, who retired for health reasons. "We are all very proud of you!"

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