President Trump late Tuesday congratulated incumbent Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith for handily defeating an insurgent challenge by Democrat Mike Espy in Mississippi’s contentious special election runoff to become the first woman ever elected to Congress from the state.
The GOP victory gives Republicans a net gain of two Senate seats in the midterm elections and a 53-47 advantage in the upper chamber, a margin that could prove critical in contentious confirmation battles to come.
Hyde-Smith, 59, is an ardent supporter of Trump who was appointed earlier this year by Mississippi’s governor to fill retiring Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. She will finish out the remaining two years of Cochran’s term in the deep-red state that went for Trump by nearly 20 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.
“Congratulations to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith on your big WIN in the great state of Mississippi. We are all very proud of you!” Trump tweeted.
With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Hyde-Smith had 446,927 votes to Espy’s 374,880 — a commanding margin of 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent, according to state election officials. The race marks the final midterm contest of 2018. – READ MORE