JACKSON, Miss. — Democrat Mike Espy officially launched his 2020 U.S. Senate campaign on Tuesday with the release of an announcement video.
Previously, Espy tried to unseat Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith in Mississippi in 2018.
“There are too many people in our state who can’t find a decent job. Rural hospitals across our state are closing. And the price for education is too high. Meanwhile, Washington is a mess, and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has done little to truly help the Magnolia State,” Espy said. “It feels like a new crisis dominates the headlines every day but does nothing to create jobs or improve our communities. Too often, our current Senator puts party over country instead of doing what’s best for our state and even our national security.”
It's official. I'm running to be Mississippi's next U.S. Senator. Too many people here can’t find a decent job, rural hospitals are closing, and the price for education is just too high.
— Mike Espy (@MikeEspyMS) November 12, 2019
There were several indications that Espy was interested in running again, with the first coming just days after the last election when he created a committee to run in 2020. In September, he began asking for donations. At the time, he reported having nearly $163,000 in his campaign fund, with no debts.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith to the Senate in early 2018 when longtime Republican Thad Cochran retired. In the November special election to fill the final two years of the six-year term, Hyde-Smith won 54% to Espy’s 46%. She ran as an ally of President Donald Trump, and he traveled to Mississippi to campaign for her.
Mississippi last had a Democrat in the U.S. Senate in 1989, when John C. Stennis retired after serving for decades.
Republicans will try to maintain control of the Senate in 2020. Of the 34 seats up for election next year, 22 are currently held by Republicans and 12 by Democrats.