Did race play a role in the Republican Senate race? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Did race play a role in the Republican Senate race?

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A black and white issue has put conversations about the Senate race in a gray area. Now, Chris McDaniel's campaign is alleging Thad Cochran crossed a line.

"The Cochran campaign through race baiting took us back 50 years," attorney Mitch Tyner said.

That's the most recent case of Chris McDaniel supporters referring to ads, fliers and tactics that they say cross a line with race relations.

"Do what they did in this election, spits in these face of the progress we've made," explained Michael Watson who is a member of McDaniel's legal team.

I listened to one of the ads in question with Jackson State political science chair Dr. Rickey Hill.

"No, no, no. that is not race baiting," Hill said. "You will in fact find that in every election."

He said the practice of using race in elections goes way back.

"In the way southern racial Demagogues used that language," Hill described. "Vote for me because I'm not going to do anything for these black people. Do not vote for my opponent because he's going to do something for these black people."

Hill thinks the tactics used in this race are nothing more than a targeted appeal to a certain group.

"What that actually constitutes is a campaign that has decided it wishes to win," Hill said about Cochran supporters' tactics. "And it has made some calculations that it's chances of winning are greater if they also reach out to constituents that they have not reached out to before."

Civil rights leader Charles Evers says there wasn't anything shady about why he supported Cochran.

"Thad Cochran was the best of the two evils," Evers said. "And Thad's done so much in Mississippi. Not for black folk but for Mississippi."

"If we ever get away from this black white thing, we'll be off and running," Evers added.

Cochran's staff maintains their get out the vote efforts went well beyond a black and white issue.

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