Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Trump holds Biloxi, Mississippi rally for embattled Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith

Nooses found outside Mississippi legislature day before Senate vote Trump in Mississippi to Rally for Hyde-Smith
| 30 November, 2018, 06:29

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

The last U.S. Senate race of the midterms was coming to a close Tuesday as MS residents chose between a white Republican Senate appointee whose "public hanging" comments angered many people and a black Democrat who was agriculture secretary when Bill Clinton was in the White House.

The final Senate race of 2018 was expected to be a sleepy affair - a formality, really, with a special election runoff in deep red Mississippi.

Trump has campaigned heavily for her.

"I've known her for a period of time now as a senator", he said.

In one, she's heard saying she'd be "on the front row" if invited by a supporter to a public hanging. They say surveys have consistently shown her with a lead ranging from the mid-single digits to the low double digits.

Trump's Republican base is fiercely opposed to illegal immigration, and addressing the issue at his rallies in Tupelo at 4:15 pm (2115 GMT) and then Biloxi is a sure way to fire up conservative voters hours before Mississippi's runoff.

The runoff Senate victor will serve the final two years of the six-year term of now-retired Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired in April amid health concerns.

Mr Espy is seeking to become the first African-American US senator from MS since Reconstruction.


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% black population.

A day before a runoff US Senate election and as Donald Trump prepared to visit the state to stage two rallies, nooses and six signs were found on the grounds of the MS capitol.

Mississippi Democrats hope to recreate the coalition that propelled Democrat Doug Jones to a Senate victory in neighboring Alabama past year by energizing black voters, particularly women, and winning support from white swing voters. "We need someone who respects lives of lynching victims", one sign read. "The fact that she toured Jefferson Davis's house - you or I could have done the same thing".

There were also reports in the local MS newspapers that Hyde-Smith had attended a "segregation academy" as a high school student, one of many such institutions established after court-ordered school integration finally came to the state in 1969.

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.

Hyde-Smith was in her second term as MS agriculture commissioner when Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to temporarily succeed GOP Sen. Shrader said Espy had done a good job of walking the fine line of appealing to Republicans while still generating enthusiasm among Democrats. "They're not putting their best in there, right?" he said.

Hyde-Smith, whom President Trump supported, is projected to win in a runoff election against Democratic opponent Mike Espy on Tuesday.

The contest caps a campaign season that exposed persistent racial divisions in America - and the willingness of some political candidates to exploit them to win elections.

Espy said he refused to accept plea deals because, "I was so not guilty, I was innocent". I want you to remember what they will do on the other side", Graham said according to the CNN report, adding, "I want you to show up Tuesday. "I was going to vote for Mike Espy anyway".

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