Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith filing for reelection

Mississippi

FILE – This file photo combination shows Mike Espy, left, a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary, on Oct. 5, 2018, and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., on Nov. 5, 2018, both in Jackson, Miss. If Espy and Hyde-Smith win their respective party’s primaries, they will face each other in the November 2020 general election. Hyde-Smith defeated Espy in a November 2018 special election. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Ms. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi is filing papers Friday to run for reelection. She is expected to campaign by emphasizing her loyalty to President Donald Trump.

But a Democratic challenger, Mike Espy, is reminding voters about a “public hanging” comment Hyde-Smith made in 2018.

Hyde-Smith said she was praising a supporter, but Espy said the comment dredged up Mississippi’s painful racist history.

Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says if Democrats retake the Senate, that will be the “first step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Hyde-Smith is a former state agriculture commissioner. She’s the first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress.

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