2018 Nonpartisan Primary Second place 42 – 41

2018 Special Election Lost 55 — 45

Who would have thought –

A long slow windup, then the fastball. 

There  were signs in the spring and in the summer.  Democrats won local races.  Democrats came close in four Congressional elections where they had no business being close — Georgia and South Carolina, Kansas and Montana. 

Then Democrats began winning federal races.  Doug Jones was elected to the US Senate from Alabama.  Conor Lamb was elected to Congress from western Pennsylvania.  More will follow, so many that Paul Ryan, Republican House Majority Leader announced he would not run for reelection.  The Senate is tougher. Nine Democrats are vulnerable.  I’m worried about two more.  Democrats need a net of two to get a majority. Losing any of those eleven makes gaining a majority in the Senate hard.


There are Republican seats that Democrats can win.  Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are ahead in the polls.   Former Governor Phil Bredesen could win Tennessee. He is ahead in the polls.  Congressman Beto O’Rourke is closing in on Texas Senator Ted Cruz. 

The strike out pitch

Mike Espy could win in Mississippi.

Espy would not be the first African-American Senator from the South since Reconstruction.  Tim Scott is the Senator from South Carolina.  Scott has figured out how to be elected by a white, Southern, conservative constituency.  He starts as a Republican.

Mike Espy https://www.facebook.com/espyforsenate was the first African-American Congressman from Mississippi since reconstruction.  He was Secretary of Agriculture in the Clinton administration. He is practicing law now.  In Mississippi.

Mike Espy resembles many of the Democrats running for Congress in Republican districts.  He is a moderate Democrat.  As a Member of Congress, he got NRA support.  As a Member of Congress, he was not controversial.  He was on the Agriculture Committee. He was a member of Bill Clinton’s moderate Democratic Leadership Council. Mike Espy was successful in attracting a substantial portion of the white vote in his district.

As a candidate for the US Senate, Mike Espy praised Thad Cochran, who resigned from this Senate seat. Elected to the US Senate, Mike Espy might make the Democratic delegation of Senators slightly more conservative than it is now. 

Mike Espy resembles African-Americans around the country.  He was unfairly a target of law enforcement, in his case an Independent Council. Espy resigned as Secretary of Agriculture a result of the investigation.  Three years later, the Independent Counsel indicted him for bribery, for which Espy was acquitted on every count.  There was a little smoke.  Two corporations were found guilty of giving him illegal gifts. 

This Mississippi US Senate election resembles none of the other elections scheduled for November 6.  It is a special election to replace Thad Cochran.  In Mississippi special elections do not have party designations.  If no one gets 50%, the top two, regardless of party, participate in a run off.  The run off is scheduled for November 27.

Cochran, a Senator since 1978 and Chair of the Agriculture Committee, resigned due to ill health.  He had been reelected in 2014, but was forced into a primary runoff by tea party candidate Chris McDaniel.  McDaniel has complained that African-Americans were encouraged to vote in the run off even though they had not voted in the initial primary round.

McDaniel is back as a candidate for this Senate seat.  There is also an incumbent.  The governor appointed Mississippi Secretary of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate seat.  Mike Espy was the first to declare his candidacy.  Two white conservative Democrats — a mayor and a city councilor — have also announced. 

Early polls suggest a three way divide among McDaniel, Espy, and Hyde-

Questions: 1. How toxic is Chris McDaniel?  As toxic as Roy Moore was in Alabama? 2. What will the effect be of the two conservative Democratic white candidates?  Will they take votes away from Mike Espyon November 6?  Or will they get votes that McDaniel or Hyde-Smith would otherwise have gotten?3. Could Mike Espywin in a runoff against McDaniel?  Against Hyde-Smith? 

Think Alabama:  Black voters were 29% of the vote in the Alabama special Senate election. Typically, they are about 25% of the vote. 

Think Mississippi: In Mississippi, blacks are typically about 35% of the vote.  With Mike Espy on the ballot, how much more than 35% would they be?

The pundits describe this election as Likely Republican. That’s better than solid Republican. Let’s move that scale.  Let’s make a little history.  Let’s elect Mike Espy https://espyforsenate.com/ to the US Senate from Mississippi.