Mississippians voted for Republican candidate Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Tuesday, making her the first female from Mississippi to be elected to the Senate.
“Mississippians know me, and they know my heart,” Hyde-Smith said in her victory speech. “I am your warden.”
Hyde-Smith defeated Democratic candidate, former congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy in the run-off 479,365 votes to his 408,728.
Forrest County had a Republican majority vote. Hyde-Smith won the county with 10,628 to Espy’s 10,041. Neighboring counties showed more Republican results such as Lamar County with a 72.9 percent to 27.1 percent vote in favor of Hyde-Smith. The Delta voted primarily Democratic as well as the state capital of Jackson.
Espy would have been the first black senator since the Reconstruction Era. The last Democratic senator in office was John C. Stennis in 1989.
In his concession speech, Espy said, “[Hyde-Smith] has my prayers as she goes to Washington to unite a very divided Mississippi.”
Hyde-Smith ran as an incumbent with support from President Donald Trump. She was appointed to office in April 2018 when former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran retired due to health reasons.
Hyde-Smith will have to run for Senate again in 2020. She must finish the remaining two years of Cochran’s term.
Hyde-Smith’s victory in the election puts the Senate at 53- 47, maintaining Republicans control of the Senate.
Hyde-Smith said on her website that she is pro-life, anti-immigration and pro-second amendment rights.