Former Dem Rep To Challenge Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

Courthouse News reports:

Democrat Mike Espy on Wednesday announced his run for the Mississippi Senate seat he sought in a tight special election last year, setting up a potential 2020 rematch with Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was dogged by controversy for a remark expressing a willingness to attend a public hanging.

Espy, 65, rose to national prominence after being elected the state’s first African-American congressman in 1986, before going on to serve as secretary of agriculture under President Bill Clinton. He said in a video announcing his candidacy that he was running for the U.S. Senate because progress in Mississippi “is still too slow.”

“And we can’t continue the change we need if we have a senator who openly laughs about public hangings and makes statements supporting voter suppression. Cindy Hyde-Smith is hurting Mississippi, our progress and our reputation,” Espy said in the nearly three-minute video.