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McDaniel, Bryant Vow to Back Hyde-Smith in Runoff Against Espy for Senate

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi voters will return to the polls on Nov. 27 to decide whether the state will send its first black man or its first woman to a full term in the United States Senate.

Democrat Mike Espy (left), who polled 43 percent of Tuesday’s vote during the special election, and Cindy Hyde-Smith (right), who had been serving temporarily in the seat vacated by the retirement of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, will advance to a runoff election held Nov. 27 to vie for the Senate seat. 

Neither Democrat candidate Mike Espy, who polled 43 percent of Tuesday’s vote, nor Cindy Hyde-Smith, who had been serving temporarily in the seat vacated by the retirement of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and earned about 40 percent of the vote, received more than 50 percent of votes cast on Tuesday.

That means the two will face a runoff election in three weeks.

The Senate race was muddied with the candidacy of state Sen. Chris McDaniel, a tea party favorite who received about 16 percent of the vote.

Gov. Phil Bryant, who worked closely with Hyde-Smith and McDaniel when they were state senators presiding over by Bryant before he was elected governor, introduced Hyde-Smith to the gathering. Bryant said he had talked with President Donald Trump, who promised to make a fifth visit in Mississippi to support Hyde-Smith.

Bryant told a cheering crowd in a downtown Jackson motel that he had talked with McDaniel who assured him he would work to help Hyde-Smith in her three-week campaign against Espy.

“We share a lot of the same values in Mississippi,” she told reporters after speaking with supporters. We have Christian values to share. We have conservative values we share. We’re going to get out and we’re going to capitalize on that and we’re all going to row that boat in the same direction.”

Hyde-Smith noted that she will have to spend part of the next three weeks serving in the Senate. Bryant had appointed her to Cochran’s seat after he retired for health reasons.

Espy, who held his victory celebration in a hotel in nearby Ridgeland, had not issued a statement late Tuesday evening.

Hottytoddy.com staff report

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