MS votes in Senate race marked by racial controversy

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Rock and roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, where the president held the first of two rallies to boost Republican Sen.

The incident came ahead of the closely watched Senate runoff between Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy, who's vying to become the state's first black U.S. Senator since Reconstruction.

Cory Booker (D-NJ), both potential 2020 presidential candidates, have visited MS during the runoff election to campaign on behalf of Espy.

After being outed for racist tendencies and attending a segregated school, Smith is employing the help of Trump to carry her over the finish line.

"I've gotten to know her over the last period of time as a senator, as a very talented United States senator and I know where her heart is, and her heart is good".

Trump's mission will be to rally the faithful toward Hyde-Smith, who has faced campaign setbacks after her comments this month about a "public hanging" seemed to allude to Mississippi's tortured history of lynching of African Americans. The Mississippi lawmaker has since said her comment was made in jest and denied any racial connotation.

Hyde-Smith found national headlines in recent weeks after the release of videos showing her making controversial remarks.

The GOP pumped resources into MS, and President Donald Trump made a strong effort on behalf of Hyde-Smith, holding last-minute rallies in MS on Monday.

The runoff election Tuesday will decide who serves the final two years of a term begun by Republican Sen.

Hyde-Smith, who originally was elected to the Mississippi State Senate as a Democrat, switched parties in 2010 and was elected state agriculture commissioner in 2011, the first woman elected to that office. Cindy Hyde-Smith's campaign to return thousands in donations stemming from her "public hanging" comments.

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A day before a runoff US Senate election and as Donald Trump prepared to visit the state to stage two rallies, nooses and six signs were found on the grounds of the MS capitol.

Shortly after the win Tuesday, Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith on your big WIN in the Great State of Mississippi".

MS voters will head to the polls in the final midterm race of the election season.

The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and that almost 73 per cent of the victims were black.

"Well, I know her and I know she apologized, and she misspoke", Trump told reporters on Moday at the White House, according to Politico. As the white and Republican blocs in MS are larger than the black and Democratic blocs, it seems likely that her larger base will carry Hyde-Smith to a moderately strong victory. But they say the appearances will provide a spark to their voters, too.

Espy resigned the Cabinet post in 1994 amid a special counsel investigation that accused him of improperly accepting gifts.

The comments triggered a political firestorm in a state that has a history of racism and lynchings and was a flashpoint in America's civil rights struggle. "I think it's been overblown", Smith said over a simmering plate of Chinese food at the Edgewater Mall in Biloxi, . Hyde-Smith won 41 percent of the vote November 6, Espy 40 percent, and McDaniel 17 percent, eliminating McDaniel for the runoff.

Hyde-Smith, who was appointed in April to fill retired Republican Sen.

Espy said he refused to accept offers of plea deals.