Mississippi Senate candidate Mike Espy continues campaigning in the Mid-South after debate

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CLARKSDALE, Miss. — A U.S. Senate candidate was in Clarksdale a day after a "one-time only" debate.

Democrat Mike Espy spent the day on a cotton farm where the owner, who usually votes Republican, is throwing his support behind the Democrat.

Espy promised farmers, if elected, he'll work to reverse tariffs that are strangling the state's agriculture.

"To allow the imposition of tariffs on soybeans, hurts soybean farmers. Tariffs are taxes. I like 'free trade.' I like 'open markets.' Farmers just want to compete. If we compete in Mississippi, we'll win," Espy said.

Espy stopped in Lyon outside Clarksdale at a cotton gin that's operated by a long-time friend and supporter Bill Heaton.

Heaton, who farms 18,000 acres of cotton and soybeans, is a lifelong Republican who's backing Espy and not Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

"It's not about politics. It's not about partisanship. This is about who is going to be the best for the state of Mississippi. And that's Mike Espy," he said.

Hyde-Smith says she supports President Trump, but Heaton says Mississippi's farmers can't wait for Trump and China to settle their differences.

"I am smart enough to know that when I start selling soybeans for $2 to $3 less than I was selling them for six months ago, that it's going to hurt my bottom line," he said.

Espy says his campaign remains focused on issues but still questions Hyde-Smith's comments about attending a "public hanging" and whether her apology is genuine.

"Those statements don't reflect the values of Mississippi. They don't. So I'd say she's bad for Mississippi and she's bad for business," he said.

The runoff election is next Tuesday, Nov. 27. And both Espy and Hyde-Smith are making that final push.

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