Last US Senate race of midterms up for vote in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi voters are deciding the last U.S. Senate race of the midterms, choosing between a white Republican backed by President Donald Trump and a black Democrat who was agriculture secretary when Bill Clinton was in the White House.

History will be made either way in Tuesday’s runoff: Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith would be the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi, and Democrat Mike Espy would be the state’s first African-American senator since Reconstruction.

Mississippi’s racist past history became a dominant theme after Hyde-Smith praised a supporter by saying she would attend a “public hanging” if the supporter invited her.

Hyde-Smith was appointed temporary successor to retired Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in April.

Tuesday’s winner gets the last two years of Cochran’s term.