Democrat Mike Espy tries to finagle a win in Mississippi against Republican senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Espy may be the first African-American in Mississippi since Reconstruction in the historically red state.
Neither Hyde-Smith nor Espy were appointed to Senate on Election Day. Instead, both will face a run-off Nov. 27. The special election is expected to be a close-one as was the turnout on Election Day. Espy had 40.7% and Sen. Hyde-Smith had 41.5% of the state’s vote.
Assistant U.S. Attorney of Southern Mississippi, Mitsi Paige, worked closely with politicians over the years and was shocked by the outcome of the race.
“We were all rooting for Espy but our hopes weren’t very high that he’d actually come so close to winning. I mean this is a very conservative and Republican state. I almost fell off my seat because for a long time tonight a black man was actually winning the Senator race in Mississippi. I’ve never seen this,” said Paige.
Congressional staffer for Congressman Bennie Thompson, Alexis Williams, sent her absentee ballot from Washington, D.C. to vote.
“I sent in my absentee ballot and encouraged everyone I knew away from their homes to do the same. As millennials, we hate the idea of having to send actual mail considering we do everything on our phones so I volunteered to take their mail to the post office for them. It’s really the little things that make a big difference,” said Williams.
Donald Miller of Vicksburg, Mississippi also stated his views on the election.
“Personally, I feel like he appealed to Mississippi as a whole and not just the black community and that’s a challenge for a black candidate in a red state,” said Miller
The runoff election will be the focus for both parties over the next month.