Campaigns finally coming to an end

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Today Mississippians will seal the deal in a couple of important runoff elections.

Voters will choose between Democrat Mike Espy and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran who retired in March for health reasons.

Also, voters will choose between David McCarty and Jeff Weill for the District 4, Position 2 Court of Appeals Judge position.

Email newsletter signup

Neither of those races produced a clear winner in the Nov. 6 general election, so today we go to the polls to choose the candidates to fill those two seats.

The judge position is a non-partisan race, so the campaigning has not been too intense in that race.

For the U.S. Senate seat, however, you would have to have been living under a rock not to have been exposed to the campaign rhetoric over the past several weeks.

I, for one, will be happy when the election is over so my smartphone text alerts will get a break, not to mention my emails.

It starts first thing every morning with the latest campaign headlines, the binging of the phone that as editor of a daily newspaper, I cannot ignore.

When I hear that “bing,” I ask myself, “Is it a local crisis we need to cover?”

I reach over to the bed stand and grab the phone. Seven out of 10 times it is some benign text about a national news story that I don’t have to act upon immediately.

One of the remaining three, however, is the one I need to get into action covering locally.

The other two recently have been about the runoff election — one campaign dishing dirt on the other.

In recent days, I have even received text messages purportedly sent by President Donald Trump himself, such as this one I received Monday morning: “This is POTUS. The elections are NOT over. Do you know where to vote TOMORROW for the MS U.S. Sen. Race? Confirm your polling place (with a link).”

Apparently, Trump has been busy not only tweeting but texting, too, because I also received a couple of other texts purportedly sent by him, such as this one that came Saturday: “This is Pres. Trump. Mark your calendar. Go vote on Tues, Nov. 27 in the MS U.S. Senate race …”

Or the text I received the morning of Nov. 19: “Pres Trump: I’m hosting an EPIC rally in Biloxi, MS Monday Nov 26th! HUGE turnout. Get your free tix here: (link provided).”

Texts are not the only form of campaign communication. Lately, my email inbox has been deluged not only with Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertisements, but also with such campaign headlines as the following:

* “Mike Espy told five big lies during November 20 debate”

* “Cindy Hyde-Smith’s Toxic Comments Threaten Mississippi Jobs”

* “Espy: Most liberal person ever to run for Senate in Mississippi”

* “Former Condoleezza Rice speechwriter: Hyde-Smith’s actions are ‘buffoonish,’ bad for business”

And that is just a small sampling of the campaign communications I’ve been subjected to lo these many weeks.

I’m sure each of you have similar stories and by now have made up your minds about for whom you will vote today.

So, please, get out and vote today, and make the campaign rhetoric stop. The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

For better or for worse, we will have to live with the results of the election for years to come, so vote smart.

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at 1-601-445-3540 or