EXCLUSIVE: A look inside the Espy campaign as it announce a $4 Million fundraising haul


JACKSON, Miss (WJTV)- 12 News gained exclusive access to the campaign operations for Mike Espy for Senate.

Monday, the campaign announced they have raised over $4 million.

So, how does a Democrat in a reliably red state raise as much money as he did in the past few months?

“Mississippi has changed,” said Joe O’Hern, the campaign manager for Mike Espy.

Building a campaign in red Mississippi, for a statewide Democrat is hard, but money helps.

“These are people coming in at $25, $27, $5, 3$ contributing to this campaign,” O’Hern said.

After calling out the national Democratic party for their lack of commitment to Mississippi, Espy has gained support the campaign staff say is needed to best Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

“The biggest thing is, I think everyone is taking notice of what Mike has been selling from day one in this campaign, that this race is real and Mississippi is a battleground state,” said O’Hern.

O’hern a nationally recognized Democratic political operative has put together a diverse team of strategists to put together an 82 county campaign plan–that so far has them within 1 percentage point of Hyde-Smith in the latest polling.

“It wasn’t just at the end of September that we’ve been putting this campaign together, Mike’s been crisscrossing the state, Mike’s been hosting virtual events– he’s been out there talking to Mississippians,” O’Hern said.

For the campaign healthcare has been a pillar.

Espy’s rival Senator Hyde-Smith is up with a new ad.

Also recognizing the importance of the healthcare issue is to people in Mississippi.

Espy’s team says they’re winning on this issue.

“Mike’s always made the point and the very clear point that he wants to be the senator for Mississippi, known for fighting for healthcare,” O’Hern said. “For standing up for healthcare. Mississippi has had some of the worst healthcare system, healthcare out comes in the country and a lot of that has been cemented under Cindy Hyde-Smith’s tenure, it is the top issue for Mississippians.”

And for the prospect of an ‘October surprise.

“I think we’ve done a lot of surprising of people and I think we have a November surprise coming,” said O’Hern.

The campaign is heading down the final strech with a lot of confidence.

The Espy for senate campaign announced they have seen 100,000 new donors for the month of September alone.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s campaign has yet to announce new fundraising numbers.

12 News is expected to speak one-on-one with Hyde-Smith in the coming days as she lays our her plans for the final stretch.

Election day is November 3rd.


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories