The governor of Mississippi doesn’t want to see what would be the state’s first Black senator elected since reconstruction.
“I intend to work for @cindyhydesmith as if the fate of America depended on her single election,” Gov. Phil Bryant tweeted. “If Mike Espy and the liberal Democrats gain the Senate we will take that first step into a thousand years of darkness.”
Espy lost to Hyde-Smith in Mississippi’s special U.S. Senate runoff election in 2018.
When announcing he’d be running again in 2020, Espy told the Associated Press that this time around he believes he can win by building a diverse coalition of voters.
“We’re going after everybody — white, black, Democrat, persuadable Republican, persuadable moderates and those in the middle,” Espy told the AP in November 2019. “But I know where they are now. I’m not flying blind.”
During his first campaign against Hyde-Smith, a video surfaced showing her praising a supporter by saying she’d attend a “public hanging” if he invited her, the AP reported.
Espy used that as ammo, saying, “We can’t continue the change we need if we have a senator who openly laughs about public hangings and makes statements supporting voter suppression,” the AP reported.
Espy added that Hyde-Smith “is hurting Mississippi — our progress and our reputation — and we simply must replace her.”