Democrats look to energize African-American, moderate white voters

Jackson, Miss.

Walking through his law office in Jackson, Miss., Mike Espy shows off a framed award from the National Rifle Association (NRA) recognizing his pro-gun votes in Congress.

Now running for the US Senate, Mr. Espy calls himself a free-trader, a budget-cutter, a job-creator, a Christian, a friend of the military, and an admirer of retired Sen. Thad Cochran (R), whose seat he seeks.

One big difference between him and former Senator Cochran: Espy is a Democrat.

The centrist rhetoric reflects Espy’s challenge in trying to win this conservative stronghold and become the state‚Äôs first African-American senator since the late 1800s and its first Democratic senator since 1989.

With little chance of converting hard-core Republicans, Espy needs to capture…

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