Only debate set for Mississippi’s hard-fought US Senate race

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Candidates in the last unresolved U.S. Senate election are set for their only debate in Mississippi.

It’s a contest has that gained national scrutiny amid a white Republican senator’s caught-on-video remarks that reflect lingering division over Mississippi’s history of racial violence.

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith was appointed to the Senate in April to temporarily succeed longtime Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired amid health concerns. She is challenged by Democrat Mike Espy, a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary who is seeking to become Mississippi’s first African-American senator since Reconstruction.

Hyde-Smith and Espy are set for a one-hour televised debate Tuesday night in Jackson.

Mississippi hasn’t elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1982, and Republicans hold all but one statewide office. Still, Espy is seeking a longshot victory.

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