MLB seeks return of donation to GOP candidate

Major League Baseball is requesting a return of a $5,000 donation to a Mississippi Republican candidate for U.S. Senate following her controversial comments and actions ahead of Tuesday's runoff election.

Cindy Hyde-Smith has drawn scrutiny for saying at a Nov. 2 campaign event that she would attend a public hanging if invited. Further digging into Hyde-Smith's past has revealed a photo of her wearing a Confederate military-style hat in 2014 along with questions about the white private school she attended in the 1970s.

MLB's donation was made on Friday, three weeks after her campaign comment.

"The contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend," an MLB spokesperson said in a statement Sunday. "MLB has requested that the contribution be returned."

Hyde-Smith said the "public hanging" comment was an exaggeration, but a number of companies, including Walmart and Union Pacific, have since requested that their donations be returned.

San Francisco Giants part-owner Charles B. Johnson has also been noted as donating to Hyde-Smith's campaign.

Hyde-Smith is set for a runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy on Tuesday to serve the remaining two years of the term of longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired in April. Hyde-Smith has held the seat since Cochran's retirement.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.