In the update, Millsaps said they were informed by Mississippi Public Broadcasting that they would no longer be broadcasting the event, after candidate Mike Espy said he would no longer debate without incumbent Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith also participating.
Last week, candidate Mike Espy announced that if Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith would not be debating, he did not feel the need to do so either. According to the Clarion Ledger, a letter was sent to sponsors of the debate that without the person occupying the Senate seat participating in the debate it “is unacceptable.”
— Mike Espy (@espyforsenate) September 28, 2018
Hyde-Smith’s campaign has reiterated that she will not be able to participate in the debate if she is reburied to be in Washington on Senate business.
After Espy dropped out that left Senator Chris McDaniel and Tobey Bartee to debate, to which MPB told Millsaps, “with only two of the four candidates committed to attend, it has become clear to us that the debate, as planned, would not achieve our initial goals of providing civic engagement to our statewide audience where all candidate views would have been heard.”
Millsaps President Dr. Robert W. Pearigen said the college hopes to work toward creating another event in which voters can hear from candidates on the issues of the day.