Mississippi's ugly past casts long shadow on Senate election

We do not need an Alabama’ Hyde Smith has Republicans holding their breath			 0					By		Marta Subat

But on Monday, he painted Democrats as radical and unsafe as he stumped for Republican Sen.

Since the comments, the runoff election between Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in the ruby red state has become increasingly close, with some Republicans fearing the party may see a repeat of what happened in the Alabama special election past year that saw Democrat Doug Jones defeat Roy Moore.

The Mississippi contest, scheduled after neither Hyde-Smith or Espy won an outright majority in the midterm election earlier this month, is the last outstanding Senate race of 2018.

Dianne Swennumson and her husband have supported Republicans in the past but say they're appalled by Mr. Trump's rhetoric and behavior.

She said, "We've prayed more than you can imagine - down at the heart of our home, at church, we prayed a few times before we came here". This included a declaration that she was so loyal to one of her prominent supporters that "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row". "She's not the sure thing she was a few weeks ago", said Nathan Shrader, a political science professor at Millsaps College in Jackson, the state's biggest city.

Hyde-Smith refused to apologize for either statement, declaring that she had been joking on both occasions, but then declined all interview requests or further comment on the subject, until she was forced to address it in her lone debate with Espy.

In an effort to get out the GOP vote and stifle any momentum Democrats may have leading into Tuesday's special election, Trump has organized a 5:30 p.m. ET rally in Tupelo and another rally at 8 p.m. ET in Biloxi. Tuesday's victor will serve the last two of Cochran's six-year term. Thad Cochran. The longtime lawmaker retired in April amid health concerns.

Mr Espy is seeking to become the first African-American US senator from MS since Reconstruction. The league cut the check for Hyde-Smith's campaign on November 12 or 13, two sources told Yahoo Sports - a day or two after the lynching comments were first made public by the Jackson Free Press.

Nooses hanging from trees and hateful signs were found at the Mississippi State Capitol early Monday morning, just a day before a runoff election to decide whether a black man will hold a Senate seat in the state for the first time since 1883.

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With the MS election undecided, Republicans hold 52 of 100 Senate seats. One of the signs says MS needs a senator "who respects the lives of lynch victims".

"I know her, and I know she apologised, and she misspoke", the Republican president told reporters on his way to the southern state.

While most candidates being outed like this would be the kiss of political death, political pundits have speculated that MS is likely to consider Smith's racism a perk.

Espy, who is a lawyer, said: "I found out later that this guy, the president, was a really bad guy".

"I think Espy supporters are probably a little more energized than Hyde-Smith", Barbour said.

MS has a history of racially motivated lynchings and violence against people who sought voting rights for black citizens. They said, 'Put this cap on.

Hyde-Smith remains a narrow favourite to win.

He says the matter is under investigation, and he did not immediately know what was on the signs.

GULFPORT, MISS-Republicans in MS may not be in love with Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the Senate earlier this year after longtime Sen. "I was going to vote for Mike Espy anyway".

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