Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) defeated former Clinton administration Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy on Tuesday in the Mississippi Senate runoff election.
With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Hyde-Smith leads Espy by 11 points, 55.9 percent to 44.1 percent, according to election results reported at Politico as of 10:22 p.m. eastern time.
In the earlier election, Hyde-Smith won 41 percent of the vote, Espy won 40 percent, and conservative Republican State Sen. Chris McDaniel won 16 percent.Hyde-Smith and Espy qualified for the runoff election as the top two finishers in the November 6 election, in which neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote.
Hyde-Smith was appointed to the Senate seat in April by Gov. Phil Bryant when Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) resigned for health reasons.
On Tuesday, almost all of McDaniel’s supporters cast their ballots for Hyde-Smith, and the increased Democrat turnout was not enough to put Espy over the top.
The three week campaign was a lackluster effort by both candidates, marked less by policy proposals than it was by Hyde-Smith’s campaign gaffes, predictable attacks against her by Democrats who claimed her gaffes proved she was a “racist,” and Espy’s long history of questionable ethics.