Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith won the Mississippi Senate runoff on Tuesday, defeating Democrat Mike Espy, several media outlets are projecting.
With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Hyde-Smith has 55.2 percent of the vote, while Espy, a former congressman and agriculture secretary during the Clinton administration, has 44.8 percent. Hyde-Smith was appointed in April by Gov. Phil Bryant (R) after longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran retired due to health issues. She now becomes the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi. When the new Congress starts in January, Republicans will have a 53-47 majority in the Senate.
Hyde-Smith made several controversial statements over the last few weeks, including saying she would attend "a public hanging" and also declaring she wouldn't mind if it became "a little more difficult" for "liberal folks" to vote. On Monday, President Trump made a final push for Hyde-Smith, holding two rallies in Mississippi.
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