Mississippi Senator Jokes About Attending A 'Public Hanging' Ahead Of Election Runoff Against African-American Opponent | Def Pen
Cindy Hyde-Smith
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Across the country, a number of midterm elections are still going on. In the state of Georgia, Stacey Abrams is waiting until all votes are counted before conceding to her opponent, Brian Kemp. Further south, Andrew Gillum is looking into litigation after it was revealed that many ballots were allegedly forged or have gone missing. Also, Florida is facing a recount in its hotly contested Senate race. With everything going on, tensions have hit a boiling point.

One of the few races yet to be determined is in the state of Mississippi. After a tight race last week, the state has required Mike Espy and Cindy Hyde-Smith participate in a special election runoff because neither received 50% of the vote. State law in Mississippi requires Senators to receive at least 50% of the vote in order to be sworn in to the Senate. While Cindy Hyde-Smith may be the early favorite going into the election runoff, her campaign may have just taken a hit.

On Sunday morning, a video was posted of Hyde-Smith campaigning alongside a cattle rancher. In the video, Hyde-Smith can be heard saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” After the video was posted, Hyde-Smith immediately responded by saying, “In a comment on Nov. 2, I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement. In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.”

Despite her best efforts, the damage had already been done. NAACP President Derrick Johnson said, “Hyde-Smith’s decision to joke about ‘hanging,’ in a state known for its violent and terroristic history toward African Americans is sick.” Denny Blanton of Mike Espy’s campaign stated, “Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comments are reprehensible.”

There is no clear indication about the impact these comments will have on undecided voters in the state of Mississippi. The election runoff will take place on November 27th between Mike Espy and Cindy Hyde-Smith.

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