President Donald Trump embraces Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith during a campaign rally at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., Friday, November 1, 2019.

President Donald Trump, who helped Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith win her seat in a 2018 special election with three visits to Mississippi, on Wednesday tweeted his endorsement of her.

“(Hyde-Smith) delivers for Mississippi!” Trump tweeted. “She helped us Cut your Taxes, Secure our Border, and Defend the Second Amendment. Cindy’s opponent, Mike Espy, is a Corrupt Politician who will Raise your Taxes and Open your Borders! Vote for Cindy!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1319017749931319297

A Trump campaign visit to Mississippi, considered “safely red” by most politicos for both Trump and Hyde-Smith’s re-election, is unlikely this cycle, with Trump’s campaign focusing on larger swing states.

Hyde-Smith’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s endorsement, but she tweeted Wednesday, “Thank you for your support @realdonaldtrump!”

Hyde-Smith has been one of Trump’s staunchest allies in the Senate, unwaveringly supporting most of his policies and defending him during impeachment hearings. Hyde-Smith has done little in person, open to the public campaigning in Mississippi this cycle, and her Democratic challenger, former U.S. Rep Mike Espy has raised millions more than her in campaign donations. But the Hyde-Smith campaign is banking on proxy support from Trump’s popularity in Mississippi and an electorate that has voted Republican in most federal elections for the last 30 years.

Trump’s endorsement of Hyde-Smith was part of a string of 11 endorsement tweets he made on Wednesday afternoon, including Republican congressional candidates Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota, Jim Oberweis of Illinois, Eric Esshaki of Michigan and Jim Marchant of Nevada.

Also on Wednesday, Hyde-Smith’s Democratic challenger Mike Espy was endorsed by former President Barack Obama. Hyde-Smith responded to this on Twitter, saying, “A vote for Mike Espy is a vote for failed Obama policies. It’s that simple.”

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Geoff Pender

Geoff Pender

Geoff Pender serves as senior political reporter, working closely with Mississippi Today leadership on editorial strategy and investigations. Pender brings 30 years of political and government reporting experience to Mississippi Today. He was political and investigative editor at the Clarion Ledger, where he also penned a popular political column. He previously served as an investigative reporter and political editor at the Sun Herald, where he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Hurricane Katrina coverage. Originally from Florence, Mississippi, Pender is a journalism graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and has received numerous awards throughout his career for reporting, columns and freedom of information efforts.