Voters in Mississippi are heading to the polls Tuesday to choose their new United States Senator in a runoff race that has become a beacon of racial division in the deep south.
Hyde-Smith's Democratic opponent, former Congressman & Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, has had to defend his honor and place in history as the Magnolia State's first black Congressman since Reconstruction.
The two candidates sparred in a single, closed-door debate just before Thanksgiving.
President Donald Trump stumped for Hyde-Smith on Monday and declared that Espy had no place in Mississippi.
“If we win tomorrow," the president boasted, "we’ll be at 53-47 which is substantially more than we had."
Trump knocked Espy as "far left" and "out there," despite Espy's record as a moderate to conservative Democrat.
As MAGA fans jeered, Trump snidely asked of Espy: "How does he fit in in Mississippi?”
On Tuesday morning, Espy responded to Trump's dig. Espy is Mississippi.
Espy went over his resume, which includes being elected as Mississippi's first black Congressperson four times and serving as President Bill Clinton's first Secretary of Agriculture, the first Mississippian to hold that post.
Espy also touted his grandfather's founding of Afro-American Sons & Daughters, a hospital that provided free health care to anyone who needed it from 1928 until it shut its doors in 1972.
Watch Espy's response below:
Espy's nephew Chuck, the mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi, wrote an emotional defense of his uncle on Twitter Monday night.
"My uncle was the first AfAm Congressman since Reconstruction and first AfAm US Secretary of Agriculture," wrote the mayor. "How does Mike Espy fit into Mississippi? Mike doesn’t fit in; he lifts up.
Contrary to what Trump may want to believe, there is a lot of excitement swirling around Espy's Senate candidacy.
Espy fits right in.
Twitter tore into Trump for his disrespectful comments about Espy.
Memories of birtherism — the racist, Trump-championed effort that forced former President Barack Obama to flash his birth certificate — are still fresh in people's mind.
To many, Trump's intent to ignite racial tension was obvious.
As has been the theme this election season, the contest between Espy and Hyde-Smith could be very close. Voter turnout is crucial.
Polls are open in Mississippi until 7:00 P.M local time.