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Senate runoff election "emotional": Mississippi voter

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:30s - Published < > Embed
Senate runoff election 'emotional': Mississippi voter

Senate runoff election "emotional": Mississippi voter

Nicole Martin Jones and Karen Nettles are voting in the Mississippi Senate runoff race between Democrat Mike Espy and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and they explain why they are voting for opposite candidates.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).


Senate runoff election "emotional": Mississippi voter

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Voters in Mississippi on Tuesday will decide a U.S. Senate special election runoff marked by racial controversy and capped by a last-minute visit by President Donald Trump to shore up the beleaguered Republican incumbent.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a white former state lawmaker who was appointed to the seat in April, is still favored over black Democrat Mike Espy in the reliably Republican state, which has not sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1982.

But she has been engulfed in a political storm since a video surfaced showing her praising a supporter at a Nov.

2 public event by saying: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row." The comment caused an uproar in Mississippi, a deep South state with a history of racism and violence against blacks, including lynchings.

Several businesses, including giant retailer Walmart, demanded that she return their donations.

Hyde-Smith was also shown on another video joking about suppressing liberal student votes, and photographs have surfaced of her posing with Confederate artifacts in 2014.

Espy, a former congressman and U.S. agriculture secretary, gained new momentum from the furor in a state where 38 percent of residents are African-American.

Hyde-Smith, who initially refused to apologize 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.

Espy denied the charge and said "we all know what came out of your mouth." He has said the comment perpetuated negative stereotypes about Mississippi and hurt investment.

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