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The Latest: MLB to review giving after Hyde-Smith remark

November 28, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a U.S. Senate runoff election in Mississippi (all times local):

6 p.m.

Major League Baseball will set new procedures for vetting political contributions after giving $5,000 to Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi and then asking for the money back after her remarks about a “public hanging.”

Federal Election Commission records show MLB’s political action committee made $472,500 in political contributions from the start of 2017 through this Oct. 17. That included two contributions of $2,500 to Hyde-Smith’s campaign on June 26 and Sept. 24 this year. Her video-recorded remark was released later.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that the league’s lobbyists “had a lot of discretion” with political contributions, and there’s “going to be additional oversight here in New York.”

MLB intends to have its legislative affairs committee discuss new procedures before making decisions.


5:40 p.m.

Some Mississippi voters are shrugging off a Republican Senate candidate’s statement about a “public hanging,” while others say they view it as disqualifying.

The Senate race involving Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy intensified after a video was published showing her praising a supporter by saying she’d attend a public hanging if the supporter asked. Hyde-Smith apologized, saying she meant it only as “exaggerated expression of regard,” and denied she meant any harm toward anyone.

That’s how Libby Moore, a 64-year-old teacher voting in Jackson, is taking the comment. Moore, who is white, says it was “a stupid thing to say” by also says she doesn’t think Hyde-Smith “meant anything racist.”

But 60-year-old Charles Connley of Picayune says the comment “really offended me.” The black man says the comment foreclosed any chance that he would vote for Hyde-Smith.


11:35 a.m.

Mississippi secretary of state spokeswoman Leah Rupp Smith says turnout for a heated U.S. Senate runoff is “steady but slow.”

Tuesday’s election pitted a white Republican backed by President Donald Trump against a black Democrat who’s a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary.

Appointed Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy are competing for the final two years of a term started by retired Republican Sen. Thad Cochran.

Zakiya (zah-KEE-ah) Summers is an election commissioner in the state’s largest county, Hinds. She says she hasn’t seen long lines.

Hinds County is largely African-American, and high turnout there is important to Espy as he seeks to become Mississippi’s first black U.S. senator since Reconstruction.


2 a.m.

Mississippi voters are deciding the last U.S. Senate race of the midterms, choosing between a white Republican backed by President Donald Trump and a black Democrat who was agriculture secretary when Bill Clinton was in the White House.

History will be made either way in Tuesday’s runoff: Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith would be the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi, and Democrat Mike Espy would be the state’s first African-American senator since Reconstruction.

Mississippi’s racist past became a dominant theme after Hyde-Smith praised a supporter by saying she would attend a “public hanging” if the supporter invited her.

Hyde-Smith was appointed temporary successor to retired Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in April.

Tuesday’s winner gets the last two years of Cochran’s term.

Update hourly