NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 MISSISSIPPI SENATE RACE FOR NOVEMBER 27th RUNOFF
Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters and Ballotready.org. For more detailed information visit their votesmart.org pages. To volunteer, visit espyforsenate.com or cindyhydesmith.com.
To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.
Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?
Mike Espy – Legal. “I’m anti-abortion, but I’m pro-choice.”“Women should have the basic right to make their own decisions about their personal health.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Ban. “100% pro life.” “All children, including the unborn, are guaranteed the right to life by our creator.”
Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Mike Espy – Yes. Supports federal spending on infrastructure, broadband & childcare, to grow the economy. But rein in “abhorrent” wasteful spending.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Mixed. Sees value in federal spending on local projects. But “controlling spending” is a priority. Supports balanced budget amendment, spending cuts.
Economy: Support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?
Mike Espy – No. Tariffs need to come to a halt. They harm Mississippi soybean production.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Hard for soybean growers, but they “just have to hold on… They will be better off in the long run.”
Environment: Support restraints on Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)?
Mike Espy – Fought EPA regulations that would have hurt Mississippi’s farming industry, but pushed for food safety regulations after an e-coli outbreak.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Supports the deregulatory path taken by Trump EPA.
Financial Regulation: Support cutbacks in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?
Mike Espy – No. Need “laws against waste, fraud & corruption” to protect people. “Wall Street seems immune from any restraint.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Unclear. Voted to roll back CFPB rule limiting potentially discriminatory auto loan rates.
Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?
Mike Espy – Yes. “Committed to ALL Mississippians having access to their rights of citizenship,” regardless of sexual orientation.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – No. “Personally believes marriage is between a man & a woman.”
Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?
Mike Espy – Yes, up to a point. “I believe in the Second Amendment.…but things have changed. …anyone who has been declared a danger to himself or others should not own a firearm…” No assault weapons to anyone under 21.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – No. Says, “Right to bear arms is essential to American Liberty… No law-abiding Mississippian should EVER be denied their constitutional rights.”
Healthcare: Support or Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?
Mike Espy – Support. Protect while expanding mental health & prescription drug coverage & offering preventive services without cost-sharing. Also supports paid family & medical leave.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Repeal. Help families afford health insurance coverage without expanding government role. Repeal Obamacare.
Healthcare: Allow Planned Parenthood to receive public funds for non-abortion health services?
Mike Espy – Probable yes. Says will fight for women’s rights & reproductive health care… targeting especially sufficient health insurance coverage & medical services.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – No. Does not support allowing public funds to go toward family planning services at healthcare organizations that also provide abortions.
Healthcare: Require people to work to receive Medicaid?
Mike Espy – No. “Mississippians should have full access… to expanded funding of Medicaid & CHIP.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Unclear. Did support Lee-Cruz amendment to Farm Bill, adding a work requirement to food stamp programs.
Immigration: Response to family separation policy being used as a deterrent to illegal immigrants. (Only immigration issue where both candidates took a stand)
Mike Espy – “The policy of separating children from their families is misguided. America can do better —we can have secure borders WITHOUT punishing innocent children.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith – “Distressing to me as a mother, but we cannot lose sight that U.S. immigration laws must be enforced.”
Immigration: Position on border all & general policies?
Mike Espy – Border wall cost can’t be justified, but supports “a secure border and enforced immigration laws that are fairly applied to all.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith – “I’m pretty firm, firm, firm on the wall.” On immigrant workers, “We want them legal. If they are not legal now, get legal.”
Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?
Mike Espy – Wouldn’t say absolutely no. Maybe medical first. “I’d be open to reviewing the facts….I would just have to know if it was safe” & “a financial benefit to the state.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Voted to block an amendment that would have allowed banks to work with legitimate cannabis businesses.
Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour?
Mike Espy – Yes. Strongly support increased minimum wage & increased Earned Income tax credit.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – No position found.
Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?
Mike Espy – No position found.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Supports biofuels. No other position found.
Student debt: Help students refinance student loans at lower rates? Increase financial aid, like Pell Grants?
Mike Espy – Unclear. Supports “increasing interest subsidies on student loans.” Also protecting students from predatory for-profit schools.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – No position found.
Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cut bill?
Mike Espy – Probably would have voted for them but wants to “make sure people see the benefits,” not just corporations.
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Supports Trump’s tax cuts.The only member of the Senate to have voted with Trump’s agenda “100 percent” to date.
Voting Rights: Support voting rules that prioritize preventing the possibility of fraud, even if they limit access?
Mike Espy – Probable no. Says “I stand firmly for civil rights, voting rights & women’s rights.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Voted for legislation requiring specific forms of voter identification in order to vote.