Democrats select Ty Pinkins to replace Shuwaski Young as secretary of state nominee

Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 2:11 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Democratic Party announced Thursday that Ty Pinkins would replace Shuwaski Young as the party nominee for secretary of state in November’s statewide election.

“It should come as no surprise to anyone that when asked to step up and provide leadership when it was needed most, Ty immediately and without hesitation heeded the call as he has so many times over the course of his career,” said Cheikh Taylor, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party.

“This is a man who has served his country, his beloved Delta, and people in marginalized communities across the state of Mississippi who needed his legal expertise. Now, he’s stepped up to ensure that come November, Mississippians still have a choice in who will serve them as secretary of state.”

If you voted in the Democratic primary, you didn’t have the choice to vote for Ty Pinkins. Running unopposed for the Democratic nomination was Shuwaski Young who last week withdrew from the race for health reasons.

“I want to be very clear that though this isn’t the typical run one makes an a statewide election,” noted Pinkins. “It is a campaign that I take seriously. I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. And making sure that voters still have a voice this November is a challenge worth fighting for.”

Pinkins, an attorney and advocate, is a native of Rolling Fork and a proud son of the Mississippi Delta, the party said in a media statement. He is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, serving 21 years of active duty. Pinkins served three combat tours in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star for his actions. His military career culminated in serving in the White House where he worked in both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Pinkins had already been criss-crossing the state campaigning but for a different office. He had planned to challenge Sen. Roger Wicker in 2024. Now, he’s shifting gears.

“Mississippi’s restrictive and confusing voting laws didn’t get that way by accident,” said Pinkins in a Thursday press conference. “Michael Watson and his Republican colleagues designed it that way. Republican lawmakers and state leaders have carefully gerrymandered and redrawn districts to limit the voting strength of minority and poor communities. They’ve refused to allow online registration and early voting.”

He says he also looks forward to detailing more on how he plans to better support and promote the state’s small businesses.

Incumbent Michael Watson offered this statement.

“Our record of tackling the tape to protect small businesses, preserving the integrity of our elections, assembling a statewide conservation plan, and making sure our entire team understands we work for and serve the taxpayers of Mississippi speaks for itself,” said Watson. “I’m incredibly proud of our work over this term and look forward to the work we’ll accomplish over the next four years.”

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