- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 23, 2018

President Trump has endorsed Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith over in the special election race playing out in Mississippi, marking the second time this election cycle the president has snubbed conservative Chris McDaniel.

“@cindyhydesmith has helped me put America First! She’s strong on the Wall, is helping me create Jobs, loves our Vets and fights for our conservative judges,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “Cindy has voted for our Agenda in the Senate 100% of the time and has my complete and total Endorsement. We need Cindy to win in Mississippi!”

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Mrs. Hyde-Smith to the seat after Sen. Thad Cochran stepped down due to health issues.

Mrs. Hyde-Smith is running in a special election race in November against Mr. McDaniel, and former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy.

Mrs. Hyde-Smith said she was honored to have Mr. Trump’s support.

“I have voted consistently for his agenda because I believe he is taking the right steps to make this country great again – lowering taxes, securing the border and nominating true conservatives to the Supreme Court,” she said.

The president’s endorsement is a blow to Mr. McDaniel, who received Mr. Trump’s backing in 2014 when he nearly ousted Mr. Cochran as part of an insurgent rebellion against the GOP establishment.

Trump voters in Mississippi surely felt disappointment today as they watched the president endorse a lobbyist, Hillary Clinton supporter, and promoter of big government healthcare, over a lifelong conservative who will fight for the President’s agenda,” said Tommy Barnett, director of the Remember Mississippi super PAC, which is backing Mr. McDaniel. “President Trump has done everything he said he would do as head of the executive branch, within the limits of Congress, except drain the swamp.”

“This was Mitch McConnell’s endorsement, not President Trump‘s,” Mr. Barnett said. “Chris McDaniel has the interest of Mississippians in mind and will not be a puppet under Mitch McConnell’s control.”

Mr. McDaniel had originally sought this year to unseat GOP Sen. Roger Wicker, but his campaign got off to a rough start after Mr. Trump endorsed the incumbent hours before Mr. McDaniel launched his campaign.

Mr. McDaniel later switched gears after Mr. Cochran stepped down, turning his attention to the special election race this fall that will decide who fill the remaining two years of Mr. Cochran’s six-year term.

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