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MLB Wants Its Money Back From GOP Candidate

League donated $5K to Cindy Hyde-Smith
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2018 1:57 AM CST
Appointed US Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith answers a question during a televised Mississippi US Senate debate with Democrat Mike Espy in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, Pool)
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(Newser) – Major League Baseball no longer wants to play ball with the Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith campaign. The league, which made a $5,000 donation to the Republican's US Senate campaign in Mississippi, asked for it back after it was publicized by the Popular Information blog, reports the New York Times. "The contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend," a league spokesman said in a statement, adding that MLB has asked for the donation—which was of the maximum legal amount—to be returned. Hyde-Smith's campaign reported the MLB donation on Nov. 23, well after her controversial joke about a public hanging made the news, though the league says it was made earlier.

Walmart, Union Pacific, and other corporate donors have also asked the campaign to return their donations. Polls show that Democratic rival Mike Espy has narrowed Hyde-Smith's lead and is gaining momentum, though the Republican is still expected to win Tuesday's runoff election. President Trump is planning to appear at two Hyde-Smith rallies Monday night. "I think Espy supporters are probably a little more energized than Hyde-Smith," former RNC committeeman Henry Barbour tells Politico. "But I do think conservative voters realize this race is going to decide if we have a conservative or liberal representing us in Washington and that is very motivating to conservative voters." (Hyde-Smith went to a "segregation academy" in the 1970s.)

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