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Senate race not a surprise for most

The U.S. Senate race may have been contentious, but it was never up for grabs as most national pundits suggested.

Brookhaven’s Cindy Hyde-Smith easily defeated Mike Espy in Tuesday’s runoff. The Republican senator captured about 54 percent of the vote compared to Espy’s 46. The difference was about 70,000 votes.

In Lincoln County, it was a blowout. Hyde-Smith won 25 of the 30 precincts on her way to becoming the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Mississippi.

We congratulate her on the win and hope she uses the position to further the interests of all Mississippians.

Just like in the Nov. 6 election, turnout was strong statewide and in Lincoln County. The total count for Lincoln County was 12,576 votes, good for 60.34 percent of the county’s 20,841 registered voters and only just short of the Nov. 6 general election’s 61.57 percent, when 12,728 vote were cast.

“To have this turnout in a runoff is remarkable,” Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield said. “For this county to have a 60 percent turnout in a runoff with only two races on the ballot showed there was very much an interest in the Senate race. People felt like they had a reason to vote.”

There was plenty of interest in the Senate race, for sure. And much of it was unwanted. Both candidates’ reputations took a beating in the run-up to the runoff.

In the end, it wasn’t much of a surprise. The Republican won. The Democrat lost. Thank goodness it’s finally over — at least for a couple years.