The Latest: 'Steady but slow' turnout in Mississippi runoff

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks with President Donald Trump, while encouraging rally attendees to vote for appointed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in her runoff race against Democrat Mike Espy, at a rally Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
President Donald Trump points as the walks with Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., at Tupelo Regional Airport, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Tupelo, Miss. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., wave to supporters after arriving for a rally in Tupelo, Miss., Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
President Donald Trump gestures as he acknowledges the fake snow that fell as he entered the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for a rally Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
President Donald Trump encourages voters to support Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in runoff race against Democrat Mike Espy at a rally Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. — The Latest on a U.S. Senate runoff election in Mississippi (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Leah Rupp Smith, spokeswoman for the Mississippi secretary of state's office, says voter turnout is "steady but slow" for a U.S. Senate runoff — the last of the midterm elections.

Voters are choosing between a white Republican backed by President Donald Trump and a black Democrat who's a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary.

Appointed Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy are competing for the final two years of a term started by retired Republican Sen. Thad Cochran.

Zakiya (zah-KEE-ah) Summers is an election commissioner in the state's largest county, Hinds. She says she hasn't seen long lines.

Hinds County is largely African-American, and high turnout there is important to Espy as he seeks to become Mississippi's first black U.S. senator since Reconstruction.

___

2 a.m.

Mississippi voters are deciding the last U.S. Senate race of the midterms, choosing between a white Republican backed by President Donald Trump and a black Democrat who was agriculture secretary when Bill Clinton was in the White House.

History will be made either way in Tuesday's runoff: Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith would be the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi, and Democrat Mike Espy would be the state's first African-American senator since Reconstruction.

Mississippi's racist past became a dominant theme after Hyde-Smith praised a supporter by saying she would attend a "public hanging" if the supporter invited her.

Hyde-Smith was appointed temporary successor to retired Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in April.

Tuesday's winner gets the last two years of Cochran's term.

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