CNN devoted a couple of thousand words to decrying Hyde-Smith's win, highlighting her various gaffes and public embarrassments while completely failing to mention that her opponent received payments from a tyrant accused of multiple murders and the encouragement of rape. Neither candidate won 50 percent of the vote in the general election, forcing a runoff.
In a state with a black population of 38 percent, Espy - the state's first black congressman and later the nation's first black state secretary of agriculture - was formidable from the start.
Most notably, at a public campaign event, Hyde-Smith said that if a supporter invited her to "a public hanging, I'd be on the front row".
She initially refused to apologize for the hanging remark, but said in a debate last week that she was sorry 'for anyone that was offended'.
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Hyde-Smith was also helped by an election eve visit by President Trump, who held two rallies with her on Monday.
This didn't sit well with Hyde-Smith, who "strongly objected" to the ceremony and asked that state law change to provide "clear and straightforward definitions about what activities can take place on the property owned by the State of MS". Mississippi's dark history of lynching is still a contentious issue and one that all decent folks would be wise to avoid making gags about.
"I know one thing: If she loses, I'll be blamed, and if she wins, I'll be given no credit", Trump told Washington Post reporters in an interview Tuesday.
Her supporters said the furor over her comments was overblown.
Espy, a former cabinet member in the Clinton administration campaigned as a moderate who would work with Trump and Republicans to benefit the state.
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Hyde-Smith's victory secures the party's 53rd Senate seat for the next two years, compared to 47 for Democrats, up from the current 51-49 Republican majority. Thad Cochran, the former Appropriations Committee chairman who retired in April due to health concerns. Most said they were unsatisfied with their choices. Hyde-Smith now leads 56 percent to 44 percent, although the remaining uncounted vote figures to be Democratic-leaning.
Nooses were also spotted hanging from trees at the Mississippi Capitol the day before the vote took place.
For Janice Sandefur, a 60-year-old clinical social worker, the election resurrected memories of the all-white school that her parents sent her to, just like Hyde-Smith, where the mascot was the Confederates. "I don't give a damn what other people think", Charles Evers said.
"While not the results we were hoping for, I am still so proud of this very historic campaign", said Espy.
"We are so locked into the concept of tradition as in heritage; I'm sure I had relatives who fought in the Civil War".
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