Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) has fended off Democrat challenger Mike Espy for the second election in a row to keep her seat.
Espy said he had called her to concede, according to The Associated Press, which joined Decision Desk in calling the race for the 61-year-old Mississippi incumbent.
“Mississippi is not for sale,” Hyde-Smith said in a victory speech, in reference to a fundraising push by her opponent that far outmatched her own, according to the Clarion Ledger. “The only thing better than beating Mike Espy is to beat him twice.”
Espy’s campaign had picked up momentum in recent weeks in what was a re-run of the 2018 race, which Hyde-Smith won by over seven points.
“I think we ran a good race. I know I left it all out on the field,” Espy told supporters, according to the Ledger. “We did everything we could do to win this race, but it wasn’t enough.”
Espy said he expected his vote to creep up as more votes came in late in the evening, but accepted it wasn’t enough for victory.
Hyde-Smith, 61, stood on a platform of stopping illegal immigration, supporting the right to bear arms, and “defending life and protecting the unborn.”
She presented herself as a Trump loyalist, gaining the president’s endorsement in October.
“She helped us Cut your Taxes, Secure our Border, and Defend the Second Amendment,” said Trump in a tweet in the run-up to the election, labeling Espy as a corrupt politician out to raise taxes and open borders.
According to the Ledger, Hyde-Smith raised $3 million in this year’s campaign, compared to $9.4 million raised by Esper.
Hyde-Smith had over 54 percent of the vote to Espy’s 43 percent with 62-75 percent of votes counted, according to Decision Desk. AP called for Hyde-Smith at 1o:30 p.m.
She is the only woman to have represented the state of Mississippi in either the House or the Senate.
Seven of the 35 Senate seats up for grabs this election have yet to be declared by Decision Desk, with the balance of the uncompleted chamber line-up standing at 47-45 in favor of Republicans at the time of writing.
The remaining undeclared seats are Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, Minnesota, and Michigan.
Republicans held a 53-47 seat majority going into the election. That means Democrats need to win four seats to take a majority in the Senate if Trump is reelected as president. If Biden wins, however, that margin drops to three seats as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) would get the tie-breaking vote.