The race to fill Thad Cochran’s seat in the U.S. Senate is headed for a runoff after all.
As the polls closed and precincts began to report their numbers, it was clear that this was a two-candidate race between Democrat Mike Espy and Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith. Both hovered around 40% throughout the night, and eventually the race was called.
To win outright, either candidate had to reach the 50% mark, but since neither did, a runoff will be held on Tuesday, November 27th. Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrat Tobey Bartee failed to qualify for the runoff, and this turned out to be a true “jungle primary” as one candidate from each party will be moving on.
After the race was called both candidates spoke to their gathered supporters at their respective campaign watch parties. Espy took the stage and his supporters cheered when he asked if they are ready to continue to stand by him. Prior to the runoff being set, Espy’s communications director, Danny Blanton, felt that they will be ready for another leg of this campaign.
“He’ll reach across the aisle if he needs to,” @espyforsenate communicators director Danny Blanton. Supporters are packing into the Hilton in Jackson as results begin to come in. We’re live til it’s all said and done. #MSvotes #ElectionNight2018 pic.twitter.com/fe3ZBD8tle
— News Mississippi (@News_MS) November 7, 2018
Hyde-Smith was not surprised by tonight’s outcome, and she stated that she’s ready to fight and they already have a plan in place.
Governor Bryant was in attendance at Hyde-Smith’s campaign event, and he feels confident that his appointee will go on to win the runoff.
“I look forward to that challenge because the people of Mississippi know that Mike Espy is a liberal Democrat, and we will win that race as well and go on to elect the first woman to the U.S. Senate in Mississippi’s history.”
Chris McDaniel gave a concession speech earlier tonight, and while he has been outspoken against Hyde-Smith on the campaign trial, he called for party unity ahead of the runoff.
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