Espy advances to runoff with GOP challenger

Espy, with family standing with him, addresses supporters on election night at the Hilton Jackson, County Line Road, Jackson, MS
Espy, with family standing with him, addresses supporters on election night at the Hilton Jackson, County Line Road, Jackson, MS

By Othor Cain

The U.S. Senate special election is headed to a runoff, Nov. 27. The state could elect for the first time – in modern day history – a black man.

Mike Espy, a former U.S. Congressman and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, hit the campaign trail early Wednesday morning after receiving 358,752 or 41 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s special election.

Espy told potential voters at Broadstreet Baking Company in Jackson Wednesday that Health care is the primary issue in his campaign for two reasons.

“In Mississippi, we lead the nation, unfortunately, in the number of rural hospitals closing just because we wouldn’t accept the Medicaid expansion money that we were offered a few years before,” Espy said. “I will also fight to protect those with pre-existing medical conditions.”

As coffee drinkers flooded the staple breakfast spot, Espy greeted them with a cup of coffee, a smile and a message. “Mississippians do not want their insurance companies canceling their policy for pre-existing conditions. Those who voted before will likely come again. We persuaded them before, we will persuade them again,” Espy said.

Espy advanced to the runoff from a field of four candidates, two republicans and one democrat, though in special elections, party identification isn’t included on the ballot.

Espy faces Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith who was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to fill the seat vacated by Thad Cochran, until an election could be held.

This article originally appeared in the Mississippi Link

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