Mississippi Senate candidate Mike Espy sees record donations after Ginsburg’s death

Biba Adams

Donations soared amid fears the state’s GOP incumbent, Cindy Hyde-Smith, will vote to fill the now-vacant high court seat.

The campaign to elect Democrat Mike Espy to the U.S. Senate broke the record for the amount of money raised in one day for a Mississippi candidate for federal office this weekend.

According to Espy’s communications director, Kendall Witmer, the campaign raised $302,000 on Saturday alone. By Sunday, donations to the former agriculture secretary topped more than $500,000, with the average donor giving $28.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy speaks to reporters at Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland, Mississippi after voting in 2018’s special runoff election there. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy speaks to reporters at Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland, Mississippi after voting in 2018’s special runoff election there. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Donations came pouring in amid fears that Mississippi’s incumbent senator, Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, will vote to replace recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative justice dedicated to dismantling Obamacare, LGBTQ rights and more.

The court is set to hear a case that could overturn the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which could put the healthcare of 100,000 Mississippians at risk of losing their healthcare.

Senate Appropriations Committee Holds Hearing On Response By HHS To Coroanavirus Pandemic
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) listens during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee reviewing coronavirus response efforts Wednesday in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

In a statement shortly after Ginsburg’s death on Friday evening, Espy hailed the departed 87-year-old justice as “a legal trailblazer, standing up for the less fortunate to ensure protections for gender equality, voting rights, civil rights, and health care.”

“These contributions” to the Espy campaign, Witmer told the Mississippi Free Press, “will go toward continuing to build our historic organizing and (get-out-the-vote) effort that will impact Democrats and Democratic organizing up and down the ballot for years to come.”

Read More: Biden, Dems forewarn Obamacare overturn amid Supreme Court vacancy

In her statement in response to Ginburg’s passing, Hyde-Smith said she “devoted her life to the law, becoming one of the most respected and influential women in our time. I appreciate her dedication and service to the nation. President Trump and the Senate now have the solemn duty to fill that vacancy, a process that should not be delayed.”

“I take this responsibility seriously,” she continued, “and I support the president’s intention to name a nominee as soon as possible.”

Read More: Trump supporters chant at North Carolina rally: ‘Fill that seat!’

Mississippi’s other senator, Republican Roger Wicker, said the Senate should fulfill their “constitutional duty” to fill “all vacancies as long as we are in office.”

This year marks Espy’s second time challenging Hyde-Smith. He first ran against her in a 2018 special election after former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant appointed her to fill a vacant Senate seat.

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