‘1000 Years of Darkness’ Will Begin If Mississippi Elects its First Black Senator According to its Governor

"If Mike Espy and the liberal Democrats gain the Senate, we will take that first step into 1000 years of darkness.”
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (left) and Mike Espy (right) by Ashton Pittman/Deep South Voice

The governor of Mississippi doesn’t want to see what would be the state’s first Black senator elected since the reconstruction era.

What We Know:

  • Democrat Mike Espy lost Mississippi’s special U.S. Senate runoff election to Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in 2018. Despite the outcome, he performed relatively well for a Democrat in a deep red state by winning around 46% of the vote.
  • Espy intends on running against Hyde-Smith again in 2020. Because of this, far-right Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is claiming that terrible things will happen as a result of an Espy victory. Various comments on Bryant’s disquiet revealed that should Espy win, he would be Mississippi’s first black Senator in over 139 years.
  • Bryant took to Twitter on January 2nd, posting, “I intend to work for @cindyhydesmith as if the fate of America depended on her single election. If Mike Espy and the liberal Democrats gain the Senate, we will take that first step into 1000 years of darkness.”

  • Given Mississippi’s long and violent racial past, the tension surrounding Mike Espy is understandable. The state had the most lynching’s historically and even up until 2017, the state still had predominantly segregated schools.

Espy is fighting a tedious battle this year in competing against a GOP incumbent in one of the reddest states in the country. While Texas is light red at this point and Arizona turning into a swing state, Mississippi continues to be Republican.

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Javier Garay is an Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.

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