The Latest: Mississippi Senate candidates make final pitches

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a U.S. Senate special election runoff in Mississippi (all times local):

7 p.m.

The two candidates in a Mississippi U.S. Senate runoff are rallying supporters a day before President Donald Trump visits the state to campaign for Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith spoke to Republican stalwarts at a Meridian museum Sunday afternoon supported by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican.

Democrat Mike Espy also spoke in the eastern Mississippi city. He was introduced by Ayanna Pressley, who will join Congress next year after unseating a Democratic incumbent in a primary.

Attention on the race intensified after a video of Hyde-Smith surfaced praising a supporter by saying she’d attend a “public hanging” for him. Hyde-Smith has apologized. She is focusing her final pitch on preserving “our conservative values” in a state dominated by political conservatives.

Espy tells voters Hyde-Smith’s election would be bad for the state’s image and says he’d support expanded health care and work with both parties.


The first name of U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst has been corrected in this item.


6 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama is telling Mississippi voters that he and fellow Democrat Mike Espy could work together to be moderate voices and bridge the partisan divide in Washington.

Jones spoke Sunday evening on a conference call for the Espy campaign. Espy is a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary. He is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in a special election runoff.

Hyde-Smith has been serving under a temporary appointment since April, when longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran retired. The winner of Tuesday’s runoff gets the final two years of the term Cochran started.

Some of the same people who worked on Jones’ campaign in 2017 in Alabama are now working on Espy’s. Jones did what Espy is trying to do — win as a Democrat in a conservative, Republican-dominated state.


1:44 p.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted support for U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a day before he plans to campaign with the fellow Republican in Mississippi ahead of her runoff against a Democrat.

Trump tweeted Sunday that Hyde-Smith “is an outstanding person who is strong on the Border, Crime, Military … Needed in D.C.” The two are to appear together Monday in the northeastern city of Tupelo and later Monday at a Gulf Coast rally in Biloxi.

Hyde-Smith is the first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress under a temporary Senate appointment since April. She’s up against Democratic former Congressman Mike Espy, a former U.S. agriculture secretary vying to become the first black senator from the state since Reconstruction.

Tuesday’s winner gets the final two years of a six-year term.


This story has been corrected to show the spelling of the first name of the Iowa senator is Joni Ernst, not Jodi.

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