Cindy Hyde-Smith Breaks Mississippi’s Glass Ceiling as She Becomes the State’s First Female Elected to Congress

Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith speaks to her supporters as she celebrates her runoff win over Democrat Mike Espy in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Hyde-Smith will now serve the final two years of retired Republican Sen. Thad Cochran's six year term.

By Published on November 28, 2018

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith fended off her Democratic challenger, Mike Espy, on Tuesday by winning the election to retain her seat as junior U.S. senator to the state of Mississippi.

Hyde-Smith and Espy have been in a closely watched race since Nov. 6 when the Mississippi Senate election resulted in a runoff between the two candidates.

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The race between the Senate hopefuls became contentious after Democrats and left-wing groups highlighted racial division in the deep red state and issues of racism flooded the Senate news cycle.

Hyde-Smith fueled the fire in early November after she said in jest that she would “be on the front row” if a man she was campaigning with invited her to a public hanging. The comment, although taken out of context, was seized upon.

During a debate, Hyde-Smith apologized for offending anyone with her remarks and repeatedly denied any ill-will or racial implications. However, she subsequently faced scrutiny after a photograph emerged of her wearing a replica of a Confederate hat while visiting the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.

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President Donald Trump again endorsed Hyde-Smith on Sunday and held two campaign rallies in Mississippi the following day in a last-ditch rallying effort ahead of polls opening. Trump tweeted that she is “an outstanding person who “is strong on the Border, Crime, Military, our great Vets, Healthcare [and] the [Second Amendment]” and that she is “needed in D.C.”

Hyde-Smith was appointed to the U.S. Senate in April 2018 to serve out the remainder of Republican Sen. Thad Cochran’s term after his resignation. The appointment made Hyde-Smith the first woman to represent the state of Mississippi in Congress, and Tuesday’s win made her the first woman elected to Congress in the state.

The Mississippi runoff election concludes the 2018 senatorial midterms, officially providing Republicans with a 3-seat advantage for the 116th Congress.


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  • IHaveaDream

    I don’t live in Mississippi, but how exactly was the comment taken out of context?
    Not sure I understand what other context it could be.

    • Dan Stubblefield

      @IHaveaDream, I do live in Mississippi, and I believe that it WAS taken out of context.

      If, like I, you had lived in the South (MS GA AL TX etc) for over 50 years, you would probably have heard that expression before. But as a tasteless joke. As in “he/she was so ugly … I wouldn’t take them out to a dogfight”

      Ultimately, funny is in the ear of the hearer … but as long as there is no malice involved, I have no problem with it. Hyde-Smith was simply stating her fondness for and solidarity with the man.

      But I will grant you, it was certainly something an aspiring Senator should have been smart enough to avoid saying in public

      And had she used the word “lynching”, then I’d definitely be right there with you.

      But it had nothing, zip, zilch, zero … to do with race.

      Unless that’s what you’re looking for

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