Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith was appointed to fill Sen.
Hyde-Smith's win over Espy, who was also a former three-term congressman, came a day after campaign rallies by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Biloxi and Tupelo. Espy, a former congressman and secretary of agriculture, was trying to become the first African-American Senator elected in MS since Reconstruction.
The Associated Press called the race for Hyde-Smith at 10:24 P.M. ET.
There was further controversy when she was shown on another video joking about suppressing liberal student votes, and photographs surfaced of her posing with Confederate artifacts in 2014.
Espy showed he possesses the qualities that Democrats should be looking for if they want to remain competitive in deep-red states like MS, and more broadly in critical swing states nationwide.
It appears that Hyde-Smith neither consolidated the Republican vote completely, nor gave Republicans the kind of statewide special election turnout advantage they usually enjoy in the South.
By a margin of 55% to 45% with 77 percent of precincts reporting, she bested Democrat Mike Espy in a closer than expected race that stirred up Mississippi's complicated racial history.
After hearing the election result, Espy phoned Hyde-Smith to congratulate her.
"And then they remind me, that there's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don't want to vote", she said at a campaign stop. Reporters uncovered a pattern of her touting the Confederacy in the past, from bills she introduced in the statehouse to honor the last daughter of a Confederate soldier and rename a state highway after Confederate President Jefferson Davis to her visit to Davis's home, where she posted a photo with the caption "Mississippi history at its best".
In the aftermath of the video, Republicans anxious they could face a repeat of last year's special election in Alabama, in which a flawed Republican candidate handed the Democrats a reliable Republican Senate seat in the Deep South. The GOP lost control of the House, where Democrats will assume the majority in January. She initially called the public hanging remark "an exaggerated expression of regard". During a televised debate nine days after the video was publicized, she apologized to "anyone that was offended by my comments", but also said the remark was used as a "weapon" against her.
The win makes Hyde-Smith, 59, the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi.
Several companies that had donated to Hyde-Smith's campaign, including Walmart, publicly withdrew their support for the senator over the "public hanging" comment. Thad Cochran's six-year term.
Hyde-Smith and Espy emerged from a field of four candidates November 6 to advance to Tuesday's runoff.
The Republicans pumped resources into Mississippi, and U.S. president Donald Trump made a strong effort on behalf of Ms Hyde-Smith, holding last-minute rallies in Mississippi on Monday. "We are all very proud of you!"