A Tight Senate Race in Mississippi

The Story:

Though Mississippi has long been considered one of the most reliably Republican states in the United States, this year polls indicate a tight race for one of its seats in the US Senate, between Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic challenger Mike Espy.

Background:

Mike Espy was Secretary of Agriculture in the early months of the Clinton Presidency (1993-94). He was the first Black American to hold that post. He left in in October ’94 after a scandal arose over his use of perks and acceptance of gifts. But in 1998 he was acquitted of the criminal charges that had arisen out of that scandal, and memories are short in politics, so that is not hindering his Senatorial campaign.

Cindy Hyde-Smith won a special election for this seat two years ago, to serve out the remainder of Thad Cochran’s term. She is a former state Commissioner of Agriculture and the first woman to serve in the US Senate from Mississippi.

The Thing to Know:

Hyde-Smith wants to repeal Obamacare. Hyde-Smith wants to preserve and build on it by for example expanding mental health and prescription drug coverage. This is the chief campaign issue. Polls indicate the race is a dead heat.

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