Trump Cancels Mississippi Campaign Trip as Hurricane Florence Nears Coast

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump called off a campaign trip to Mississippi scheduled for Friday in anticipation that Hurricane Florence will strike the U.S. East Coast.

Trump intended to stump for Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican appointed to the Senate in April, who is running in a special election to serve out the final two years of a term begun by Senator Thad Cochran, who retired due to health issues. The campaign announced the cancellation Monday.

Hyde-Smith faces three challengers in a nonpartisan special election on Nov. 6, the same day as U.S. congressional elections. One of them, Republican Chris McDaniel, lost a primary challenge to Cochran in 2014. Two Democrats are also running, including Mike Espy, former President Bill Clinton’s first agriculture secretary.

McDaniel, a lightning rod because of his embrace of racially divisive issues including support for Confederate statues, claims to better represent Trump’s base supporters than Hyde-Smith.

Florence could make landfall on Friday between Charleston, South Carolina, and Norfolk, Virginia, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It’s currently classified as a Category 4 storm, just a step shy of the most severe level, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles (209 kilometers) an hour.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.