It seems like Mississippi will still be Mississippi after it voted to keep Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith as its senator, despite the racial controversy that flooded her campaign in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s special runoff election.
Hyde-Smith’s victory marked the final decision in the 2018 elections and will secure the Republican majority in the Senate at 53 to 47, a two seat gain for the party.
The Republican was dragged into the spotlight a few weeks prior after making a flippant comment about attending a public hanging if she was invited. That statement cost her several donors, including Walmart. However, it apparently didn’t cost her the vote in the state known for its dark history of lynching.
“The reason we won is because Mississippians know me and they know my heart,” she said on Tuesday night, according to the New York Times. “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.”
Meanwhile, Hyde-Smith’s opponent, Mike Espy, who would have been the first black state senator since Reconstruction offered kind words as he conceded.
“She has my prayers as she goes to Washington to unite a very divided Mississippi,” he said.
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