WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith fended off a challenge from Democrat Mike Espy Tuesday in a closely watched Senate runoff election marked by racial tensions.
She becomes the first woman from Mississippi elected to Congress. The Associated Press called the race for Hyde-Smith just before 10:30 pm EST.
President Donald Trump, who campaigned for Hyde-Smith in Mississippi Monday, applauded Hyde-Smith on her victory.
“Congratulations to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith on your big WIN in the Great State of Mississippi,” he tweeted late Tuesday. “We are all very proud of you!”
Hyde-Smith was appointed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the seat of longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired in April because of failing health. Hyde-Smith, a former state agriculture commissioner and state senator, will complete the two years remaining of Cochran’s term.