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Trump heads to Mississippi in return to the campaign trail




Donald Trump midterm rally Florida
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally for Republican
midterm candidates in Florida on Wednesday.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Mississippi on Monday as
    he throws his full support behind the embattled Republican
    Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith.
  • Hyde-Smith is deep into a runoff race for the state’s Senate
    seat with her Democratic opponent, Mike Espy.
  • Hyde-Smith has been under heavy scrutiny for saying she would
    be in the “front row” if invited to a “public hanging.”
  • The Mississippi Rising Coalition is organizing a protest on
    the beach opposite a venue where Trump is speaking, local
    media reports said.
  • The nonprofit urged activists in a Facebook
    to bring their “banners, signs and voices” to
    the non-violent gathering.

President Donald Trump will
be in Mississippi on Monday as he throws his full support behind
the Republican Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith.

The Mississippi Senate race went to a runoff after neither major
candidate secured the requisite 50% of votes to become the junior
senator back on November 6.

The race has descended into an unexpectedly close stand-up fight,
after video emerged of Hyde-Smith saying she supporting talk of a
“public hanging,” in racially divided Mississippi where such
language carries painful connotations. 

Photos of Hyde-Smith on
Facebook posing at a museum in confederate clothing
have also
recently courted controversy. 

Trump last went on the stump for Hyde-Smith in August. 

Trump has taken just a short break from his long-winding campaign
trail after the end of this month’s midterm elections. The duo
will hold rallies in two locations in the state on Monday.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Mississippians are planning to hold their
own protest event to counter the president’s visit to the state
on Monday ahead of the November 27 runoff election between
Hyde-Smith and her Democratic opponent Mike Espy.

According to the
Biloxi Sun Herald
, the Mississippi Rising Coalition (MRC) is
organizing The Battle of Biloxi, a protest to take place on
a  beach opposite the venue where Trump is planning to

A nonprofit civil-rights group, the MRC, urged people in
a Facebook post
for the protest
to bring “banners, signs and voices” to the
non-violent event.

“We can not and will not let Hyde-Smith and Trump’s racist
rhetoric go unanswered directly by the people, and we must not
allow Hyde-Smith to represent our state any longer,” the group
posted on Facebook.

The two sides are squaring off after Hyde-Smith, a former
Mississippi  agriculture secretary, declared at an event in
Tupelo earlier this month that she would be in “the front row” at
a “public hanging.”

The comments have provoked fury and condemnation as well as
raising the stakes for a Senate seat in a state, which has a grim
history of racism.

More lynchings — public hangings of African-Americans — took
place in Mississippi than in any other state in the US from the
late 1880s until the 1960s.

Hyde-Smith subsequently apologized but quickly went on the
attack, accusing the Democrat, former US Congressman Mike Espy,
of making political hay out of her remarks.

“My comments were taken and twisted and used as a political
weapon against me by my opponent,” she said.

Espy comes with his own portmanteau of problems, as agriculture
secretary in the administration of Former president Bill
Clinton,  Espy was made to step down following an
investigation into his inappropriate acceptance of gifts.

If elected, Espy would become the first black senator from
Mississippi since the reconstruction era that followed the
American Civil War.

Around 37% of Mississippi’s population is African-American. 

Tweeting from his Mar-a-lago estate in Florida on Sunday where he
spent Thanksgiving, Trump announced his intention to travel
to the state for Tuesday’s  “very important election.” 

“She is an outstanding person who is strong on the Border, Crime,
Military, our great Vets, Healthcare & the 2nd A(mendment).”
He concluded: “Needed in D.C.”

Democrats have their sails up in the south following Doug Jones’s
special election victory in neighbouring Alabama in 2017, but the
state largely remains a red one and despite the furore Hyde-Smith
is thought to hold the advantage.

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