JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - There’s still no planned debate between Mississippi U.S. Senate candidates Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) and Mike Espy (D).
Each side has responded differently to the idea of a debate, with Espy constantly pushing Senator Hyde-Smith for a debate and Hyde-Smith brushing off the idea.
Espy held a press conference on Wednesday to call out Hyde-Smith for not agreeing to a debate.
“She’s sending signals that she does not want to earn their votes,” Espy said. “She’s sending signals that she’s prepared not to work hard.”
After the press conference, Hyde-Smith offered this response:
“Debates are a topic that losing candidates and reporters care about. Mississippians want to know that I’m doing the job I was elected to do, and that’s what we’ve been traveling the state talking about.”
Hyde-Smith’s camp says the continued calls for a debate from Espy are “desperation.” While Hyde-Smith is considered the favorite to win, the most recent poll showed Hyde-Smith just a one point lead.
Despite this, Hyde-Smith says she is “willing” to do a debate--while dismissing the need for one.
“There’s stark contrast differences between the two of us so really I don’t know what there is to debate but certainly willing to do it,” said Hyde-Smith on Tuesday.
Espy says Hyde-Smith is ignoring Mississippians by not debating and says the stark differences are all the more reason to hold a debate.
He pointed out other Republicans like Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence and Donald Trump who have already debated their Democratic opponents ahead of November’s election, which he says refutes any claims about a “busy schedule.”
Espy says not debating is a sign that she’s not working hard for Mississippians.
“She’s disrespecting you. She’s overlooking you. She believes she’s entitled to this seat,” Espy said.
Espy and Hyde-Smith will both be on ballots in Mississippi on November 3.