Trump Asks GOP Voters to Elect Mississippi Senator After Stumble

Nooses found outside Mississippi legislature day before Senate vote

Rock and roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, where the president held the first of two rallies to boost Republican Sen.

The runoff election between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy takes place today.

President Trump traveled to Mississippi Monday in a last-minute effort to save a long-held Republican seat in the US Senate. Espy's campaign has said Espy ended the consulting arrangement because of Gbagbo's record.

"I'll vote for Mrs. Smith you know, because being a Republican", said Betty Lechman, a Biloxi-area resident of five decades, at the Edgewater Mall food court table where she and her friends meet every day of the week except Sundays, which are reserved for church.

Her supporters said the furor over her comments was overblown. Hyde-Smith said the comment had been twisted and turned into "a political weapon used for nothing but personal and political gain by my opponent".

These requests came after a video surfaced of Hyde-Smith saying at a small rally in Tupelo, Mississippi: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row".

Hyde-Smith has campaigned as an unwavering supporter of President Donald Trump, who campaigned with her on Monday, praising her at a rally in the northeastern MS city of Tupelo for voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Her win allows her to complete the final two years of Cochran's six-year term.

If victorious, Espy would become Mississippi's first black senator since Reconstruction and the first Mississippi Democrat elected to the Senate since 1982.

Over the past week, high-profile contributors to the campaign of Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith including Walmart, AT&T, Pfizer, and Major League Baseball have requested a refund after the MS politician's "public hanging" remark sparked outrage.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is looking for several suspects believed responsible for placing a pair of nooses and signs on the Mississippi state Capitol grounds Monday morning.

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But in MS, the only state that still has Confederate insignia on its flag, allegations of racism don't carry the same political toxicity as accusations of sexual impropriety that involve minors.

The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and almost 73% of the victims were black.

Addressing his supporters Tuesday night, Espy said: "While this is not the result we were hoping for, I am proud of the historic campaign we ran and grateful for the support we received across Mississippi".

In the final weeks of the runoff, Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remark about making voting hard was a joke.

Hyde-Smith's campaign hammered Espy for his $750,000 lobbying contract in 2011 with the Cocoa and Coffee Board of the Ivory Coast.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he's spoken with Sen. She was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the senate seat after Cochran retired.

Hyde-Smith, 59, finished first in the general election among four candidates on November 6, but did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote, which triggered the runoff.

"But like I said, neither one of them, I wish I had somebody else to vote for". And at the debate last week, he derided her for "talking about public hangings and voter suppression", saying, "I am not going back to yesteryear".

Espy said he refused to accept offers of plea deals because, "I was so not guilty, I was innocent".

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