By Associated Press - Monday, October 1, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Sponsors are canceling a Mississippi campaign debate after a U.S. senator and one challenger said they would not participate.

Millsaps College issued a statement Monday saying a debate with two of four candidates was “not a viable option.”

The debate was supposed to be Thursday at Millsaps, co-sponsored by Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said weeks ago she would not participate in campaign debates if she has to be in Washington.

Democratic challenger Mike Espy said Friday he would debate only if Hyde-Smith does. MPB said it would not air a debate with the remaining candidates, Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrat Tobey Bernard Bartee.

Hyde-Smith was appointed to serve temporarily when Sen. Thad Cochran retired in April. The winner of the November special election will serve two years.

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