After a close race, Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith has been declared the victor in Mississippi’s Senate runoff, defeating Democrat Mike Espy

Espy only managed to win about 46 percent of the votes, whereas his rival garnered 54 percent. As of this writing, about 95 percent of the precincts have reported their results, giving Hyde-Smith an insurmountable lead. This win for the Republicans will give them a 53-47 majority in the Senate starting in January. 

During her victory speech, Hyde-Smith praised her “unbelievable campaign” and offered her gratitude to Gov. Phil Bryant and President Donald Trump, both of whom supported her. “This win tonight, this victory, it’s about our conservative values,” she exclaimed. “It’s about the things that mean the most to all of us Mississippians: our faith, our family.” Hyde-Smith later confirmed to reporters that she fully intends to run again in 2020.

SLIDESHOW: DONALD TRUMP’S 30 CRAZIEST TWEETS

As Mississippi has reliably been a stronghold for their party, Republicans are relieved they retained Hyde-Smith’s Senate seat. Nevertheless, the GOP did not spare any expense during the election, dedicating $3 million and other resources into helping her defeat Espy.

“Cindy Hyde-Smith has been a strong conservative voice since joining the Senate, so it should come as no surprise that she was elected by Mississippians to represent them in Washington,” said Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. Gardner is also the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which spent over $1 million on television ads promoting Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith stirred controversy during the election for a joke she made regarding her willingness to attend a public hanging. The incumbent Senator later apologized for her comments while contesting that Espy “twisted” her words and weaponized them against her. A recently discovered photograph, however, depicts a high school-age Hyde-Smith along with a group of cheerleaders and the school’s mascot, “a Confederate flag toting Southern general.” Espy, who has served as a congressman and Bill Clinton’s agriculture secretary, addressed her comments as a “black eye” for the state.