Cindy Hyde-Smith defeats Democrat Mike Espy, becomes first Mississippi woman elected to Congress

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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.

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