Trump jumps in to Senate race with racist overtones

The final chapter of the 2018 midterms is nearing a close in MS, where the prevalent themes of President Donald Trump and race have combined for a much closer contest than anyone expected in one of the country's most deeply conservative states.

News of the 2007 measure comes amid increased scrutiny of Hyde-Smith's past after a series of recordings surfaced that featured her making comments about attending a "public hanging" and suppressing the votes of students in the state.

The comment prompted outrage in a Deep South state scarred by a history of lynchings, and boosted support for Mike Espy, her Democratic challenger. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a day before he plans to campaign with the fellow Republican in MS ahead of her runoff against a Democrat. Defeat would leave the Republicans with only a...

A day after U.S. border agents deployed tear gas on a group of migrants after some tried to charge the U.S. -Mexico border, Trump returned to the campaign scare talk that had largely disappeared following the November 6 midterms. And they foreshadow the messaging dissonance that could mark the next two years of his presidency as he faces a divided Congress - a Republican-majority Senate and a Democrat-controlled House - after two years of across-the-board Republican power.

Mississippi's two U.S. Senate candidates rallied supporters around their themes of conservatism and moderation Sunday as they entered the closing days of their campaigns.

Trump said repeatedly Monday that Hyde-Smith had apologized for her comments and that he believed she was honest.

The historic contest features Hyde-Smith, who would be the first woman elected to Congress from MS, against Espy, who's vying to become the state's first black senator since Reconstruction. He does remind voters while Hyde-Smith was in a white academy, he and his twin sister were being called racial slurs while integrating Yazoo City High School in 1969. Thad Cochran, who retired in April.

It was reported that she also wore a Confederate hat while visiting a museum for Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

Trump plans to speak Monday afternoon at a rally in Tupelo and then that night at a rally in Biloxi. Former Vice President Joe Biden has endorsed Espy, and three Democrats who could run for president in 2020 - Sens. MLB's comment provided no explanation as to why the donation was made after Hyde-Smith's comments, and when exactly Major League Baseball chose to ask for it back.

For Espy, turnout is key.

The runoff between Hyde-Smith and Espy has drawn comparisons to last year's special election in which Democrat Doug Jones defeated the scandal-plagued Republican Roy Moore to fill Jeff Sessions' vacated seat.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

"My approach is MS first", Espy said at last week's debate. He noted during a campaign stop earlier Monday that he had crossed the "party chasm" to endorse the re-election of Republican Gov. Haley Barbour in MS in 2007. A day earlier she received a donation from San Francisco Giants part-owner Charles B. Johnson.

Major League Baseball made the contribution on November 23, which was after the controversy erupted in the press.

  • Rogelio Becker