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Dem defeated in Mississippi US Senate race could run in 2020

Mike Espy | Photo: MGN Online

A Democrat who lost a contentious U.S. Senate runoff in Mississippi this week is preparing to run again in two years.

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 8:38 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Democrat who lost a contentious U.S. Senate runoff in Mississippi this week is preparing to run again in two years.

A document filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday creates a "Mike Espy for Senate Campaign Committee" for 2020. The form was electronically signed by Espy, and an official in his 2018 campaign confirmed to The Associated Press that the document is real.

Espy, who is black, lost Tuesday to white Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. Mississippi's history of racist lynchings became a focal point after a video showed Hyde-Smith praising a supporter by saying: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row."

Hyde-Smith said the phrase was "an exaggerated expression of regard," and more than a week after the video was published, she apologized to "anyone that was offended."

Hyde-Smith, 59, campaigned as an unshakable ally of Republican President Donald Trump, and he held two campaign rallies for her on opposite ends of Mississippi the day before the election.

Hyde-Smith won with 54 percent of the vote to Espy's 46 percent. She will finish the final two years of a term started by longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired amid health concerns in April.

She was in her second term as Mississippi's elected agriculture commissioner when Republican Gov. Phil Bryant chose her to succeed Cochran until the special election was resolved. She is the first woman elected to either chamber of Congress in Mississippi, and she is expected to run for a full six-year Senate term in 2020.

Espy, who turned 65 Friday, is a former congressman and was U.S. agriculture secretary in 1993 and 1994 under Democratic President Bill Clinton. He was seeking to become Mississippi's first African-American U.S. senator since Reconstruction and campaigned as a moderate Democrat who said he wanted to represent all people, regardless of race or party affiliation.

During his concession speech Tuesday night at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in downtown Jackson, Espy told supporters that his campaign had created "the largest grassroots movement" that Mississippi has seen in a generation.

"When this many people show up, when this many people stand up, when this many people speak up, it is not a loss. It's a movement," Espy said then. "So, we are not going to stop moving our state forward."

Hyde-Smith said at her own election night party that she would work to represent the whole state.

"The reason we won is because Mississippians know me and they know my heart, and thank God for stepping up, Mississippians," she said.

Mississippi has a 38 percent black population, and Espy's strategy was to get a large turnout of black voters combined with a share of progressive white voters and even conservative whites who were embarrassed by Hyde-Smith's "public hanging" remark.

Republicans control most statewide offices in Mississippi, and the state last elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 1982.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
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