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28 November 2018, 01:00 | Tara Lloyd
Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith is shown at her desk in her office in July 2018
Cindy Hyde-Smith is once again under fire for a race-related issue, after the Jackson Free Press in MS reported Friday that she graduated from a high school segregation academy. The victor Tuesday gets the final two years of a six-year term. She's up against Democratic former U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, a former U.S. agriculture secretary vying to become the first black senator from the state since Reconstruction.
Hyde-Smith sent her daughter to a similar school, Brookhaven Academy, which is almost all white despite being located in a majority-black town. Her comment had nothing to do with race-related lynchings, she said.
Espy is seeking an upset victory in a deep red state after Democrat Doug Jones edged Republican Roy Moore in a December 2017 special election to fill former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Alabama Senate seat.
It's not the first controversy that Hyde-Smith has caused.
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The photos surfaced days after other pictures circulated on social media of Hyde-Smith wearing a grey Confederate military-style hat in 2014, when she was state agriculture commissioner and visited Beauvoir, the beachside home in Biloxi that was the last home of the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis.
Hyde-Smith's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Hyde-Smith's remarks have prompted several organizations - including Major League Baseball and Walmart - to withdraw their financial support. Respected by all. We need her in Washington!.
She has a history of controversial conduct, the most recent from a campaign rally earlier this month where she was seen on video joking with a supporter about happily being his guest for a public hanging. "So, I think we're gonna vote high again in the run-off". Thad Cochran (R), who stepped down for health reasons.
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Hyde-Smith posted the photos of herself at Beauvoir to Facebook, with the caption: "Mississippi history at its best!"
On Friday, the Jackson Free Press reported that Hyde-Smith attended a private high school that was founded in 1970 so that white parents could avoid attempts to integrate schools by sending their children to schools without black students.
More than 43,000 absentee ballots have been requested for the runoff, and that number could increase as circuit clerks continue compiling information, the MS secretary of state's office said Saturday. He also told supporters he began the debate with a blank notepad and she had notes on hers before it started.
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About 69,000 absentee ballots were requested before the November 6 election. There's typically a decrease in ballots cast between the first election and a runoff. MS last elected a Democrat to the Senate in 1982. He said he knows "where her heart is and her heart is good".
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