Nooses found outside MS legislature day before Senate vote

Nooses found outside Mississippi legislature day before Senate vote

Nooses found outside Mississippi legislature day before Senate vote

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 Democrats a reliable GOP Senate seat in the Deep South.

Under the state's law, if no candidate wins over 50% of the votes, a runoff election must take place. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to the seat in April to succeed the resigning Thad Cochran. She is running against Democrat Mike Espy in a contest that has increasingly taken on racial overtones.

The historic contest features Hyde-Smith, who would be the first woman elected to Congress from MS, against Espy, who's vying to become the state's first black senator since Reconstruction. Mr. Trump held a festive, Christmas-themed rally for Hyde-Smith in Biloxi Monday night, and a rally earlier that day for her in Tupelo, 300 miles to the north. The comment stirred deep feelings in MS, where lynchings of black people were once commonplace.

Mississippi Democrats hope to recreate the coalition that propelled Democrat Doug Jones to a Senate victory in neighboring Alabama a year ago by energizing black voters, particularly women, and winning support from white swing voters.

Hyde-Smith, who initially refused to apologise for the hanging remark, said last week she was sorry "for anyone that was offended" and accused Espy of twisting her words for political gain. "She's a Republican, I guess", said Jerry Smith, a grandfather and longtime MS resident. Cindy Hyde-Smith about her comments referencing a "public hanging" and suggested her apology should suffice. Many of those, including Walmart and Major League Baseball, have asked for refunds.

Hyde-Smith remains a narrow favourite to win. "And she misspoke", Trump told reporters on the South Lawn as he left to hold a pair of rallies supporting Hyde-Smith in Mississippi. And the simplest, most common reason why they support her?

And the Jackson Free Press reported over the weekend that Hyde-Smith had attended an all-white private school - one of many founded after the Supreme Court ordered schools to desegregate as a way to get around the high court's mandate to integrate public schools. "She wasn't trying to send any messages". MS had the most of any state during that time - 581. That never works out well. "You just wonder sometimes what you hear about her whether some of it's not true". He complained that the media has focused too much on the GOP losses in the House and not enough on the party's performance in the Senate. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and that almost 73 percent of the victims were black. Espy's best chance to win is if there is a significant turnout differential in which whites and Republicans do not turn out while blacks and Democrats do.

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She said the hanging remark was an "exaggerated expression of regard" for the supporter, but the remarks drew sharp criticism in a state with a 38 per cent black population.

Espy has tried to capitalize on Hyde-Smith's racially charged comments and missteps.

The sign also read: 'We need someone who respects the lives of lynch victims'.

But he is also expected to use his first public event since last week's Thanksgiving holiday to stoke fears about a Central American migrant caravan that has reached the United States southern border with Mexico.

Despite Mississippi's partisan leanings, Democrats only have to look next door to see a possible path to victory. But even with those allegations hanging over Moore, Jones only very narrowly prevailed. With Democrats taking back the House in January, national Republicans have argued that it's crucial to expand the GOP's Senate majority.

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.

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