Trump to stump for Sen. Hyde-Smith in historically deep red Mississippi

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Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

GOP candidate Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. President Trump returns to the state Sept. 14 to campaign for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

President Donald Trump is coming to Mississippi — again.

The president will hold a rally for U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, where Trump held a campaign rally in August 2016.

It is the first time this election cycle that Trump has campaigned for a Senate candidate in a safe Republican state.

Trump used Twitter in August to endorse Hyde-Smith, whom Gov. Phil Bryant appointed to temporarily fill the seat vacated when Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran retired this spring.

Hyde-Smith will face three challengers in an officially nonpartisan November special election; those opponents are fellow Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, former Democratic U.S. Rep. and Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and Gautier Democrat Tobey Bartee.

Trump’s visit would come on the heels of the latest controversy for his White House, the publication of a New York Times op-ed in which an anonymous senior Administration official wrote that Trump “continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.” The announcement of his Mississippi trip also comes amid confirmation hearings for Trump’s most recent U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Through a short statement, Hyde-Smith’s campaign said of Trump: “Cindy Hyde-Smith has supported him 100 percent since she took office, and she looks forward to his visit to her home state next week.”

Susan Walsh, AP

President Donald Trump, right, standing with Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. 

The statement does not include details on the event, but Geoff Pender, writing for the Clarion Ledger, reported Friday morning that the event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Coliseum.

Trump’s most recent visit came in December 2017 at Bryant’s invitation for the state’s bicentennial celebration and ribbon cutting for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History. 

Bryant said in a statement placed on his Facebook page: “I am so grateful President Trump is returning to Mississippi to support our U.S. Senator, Cindy Hyde-Smith. Since taking office, Cindy has worked tirelessly to advance the president’s America First agenda and I look forward to standing with them to celebrate the great things happening in Mississippi and America.”

McDaniel, a tea party favorite, sent out an email to his supporters Friday, urging them to secure tickets to attend the rally for Hyde-Smith to “remind President Trump who the real conservative MAGA candidate is in the race.”

McDaniel said Hyde-Smith, whom he calls an establishment Republican, cannot help the president Make America Great Again.

McDaniel, who narrowly lost  the Republican primary in 2014 to then-U.S. Thad Cochran, routinely reminds voters that Hyde-Smith was a Democrat during her three terms in the state Senate.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story and several others on our site misidentified U.S. Senate candidate Tobey Bartee as a Gautier city councilman. According to his campaign website, he was most recently an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Each story in which Bartee is misidentified has been edited. We regret the errors.