As Mississippi's special Senate run off election draws nearer, Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith continues to be plagued by what her spokesperson has called the "gotcha liberal media." Just one day after The Jackson Free Press reported the incumbent senator attended an all-white segregation school, CNN has reported Hyde-Smith once co-sponsored a resolution praising the state's last "real daughter" of the Confederacy. Bustle has reached out to Hyde-Smith's spokesperson for comment.
According to Mississippi state Senate documents uncovered by CNN, Hyde-Smith was one of four state senators who co-sponsored a resolution in 2007 that called for "recognizing and congratulating" then-92-year-old Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr, whom the resolution noted was "the last known living 'Real Daughter' of the Confederacy living in Mississippi."
Pharr's father was, according to the resolution, Thomas Jefferson Nicholson, a soldier who served in the A2nd Company of the Mississippi Infantry Regiment of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1864. Nicholson later joined another company after recovering from an illness that furloughed him from his original troop and, according to the resolution, "participated in most every major campaign with General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia."
"It is with great pride that we join the Sons of Confederate Veterans in recognizing and honoring Mrs. Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr and the service of her father, T.J. Nicholson, who fought to defend his homeland and contributed to the rebuilding of the country as a model citizen of the State of Mississippi," the resolution reads.
But some have criticized the resolution as an attempt to glorify the Confederacy. In a statement to CNN, Society of Civil War Historians President Nina Silber argued the resolution "rests on an odd combination of perpetuating both the Confederate legacy and the idea that this was not really in conflict with being a good citizen of the nation." Silber also said she felt the measure "really seems to be an excuse to glorify the Confederate cause."
But this isn't the first time Hyde-Smith is reported to have appeared to glorify Mississippi's Confederate history. Earlier this month, Politico uncovered a photo Hyde-Smith posted to her Facebook in 2014, in which she is posed with a Confederate soldier's hat and rifle during a visit to the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library. "Mississippi history at its best!" Politico reported Hyde-Smith wrote on Facebook.
On Friday, The Jackson Free Press published photographs of Hyde-Smith that it reportedly found in the 1975 Lawrence County Academy yearbook. According to the paper, the school was established as a private segregated school for whites seeking to avoid integrated public schools.
In a statement emailed to Bustle, a spokesperson for Hyde-Smith characterized The Jackson Free Press' article as the work of "the gotcha liberal media."
"In their latest attempt to help Mike Espy, the gotcha liberal media has taken leave of their senses," Hyde-Smith spokesperson Melissa Scallan tells Bustle. "They have stooped to a new low, attacking her entire family and trying to destroy her personally instead of focusing on the clear differences on the issues between Cindy Hyde-Smith and her far-left opponent."
Hyde-Smith has also recently come under fire for saying she'd be "on the front row" if invited to a "public hanging" by a supporter and that there are "a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don't want to vote," and that she thought it was a "great idea" if "maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult."
While Mississippi is known to be a solidly red state, Hyde-Smith is reportedly receiving some pushback because of her recent comments. According to ESPN, Major League Baseball has asked for a $5,000 donation the league made to her campaign to be returned. Mississippi voters will decide Tuesday, Nov. 27 in a run-off election whether Hyde-Smith will keep the Senate seat appointed to her after Sen. Thad Cochran retired in April, or if Espy will replace her.