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Cheikh Taylor elected to first full term as Mississippi Democratic Party chair

Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Cheikh Taylor is fully behind President Joe Biden in his reelection efforts. (Photo courtesy of Cheikh Taylor)

State Rep. Cheikh Taylor has officially retained his position as chair of the Mississippi Democratic Party.

Taylor, who stepped in on an interim basis last summer after the fallout of former chair Tyree Irving, secured a full term over one challenger, Wil Colom. Colom, an attorney and businessman from Columbus, ran for state treasurer as a Republican in the late 1980s before switching to the Democratic party in the mid-2000s. Taylor won with 51 votes while Colom received 14.

“It’s a great day to be a Democrat,” Mississippi Democratic National Committeewoman Jacqueline Amos said after Saturday’s meeting. “Chairman Cheikh Taylor, who stepped up during our darkest hour last year, will now have a chance to lead us toward better days.”

The party, which has not won a statewide race since former Attorney General Jim Hood was elected to a fourth term in 2015, is in the middle of a transformation process after being swept during Mississippi’s 2023 general elections. While solid representation still lives in the House and Senate, Taylor believes the future is bright for Mississippi Democrats on a statewide level.

“The Democratic party was hemorrhaging and there was an executive decision by committee members to change leadership,” Taylor said in an interview last month, recounting his initial selection to lead. “I didn’t [originally] seek nomination for it. Someone thought it was necessary to throw me a live hand grenade and I caught it. And I’m glad I did.”

One of the first goals on hand for Taylor will be communicating Mississippi Democrats’ goals – including voter rights and access – to national members at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, set for Aug. 19-22 in Chicago, Ill. He and other Mississippi delegates are prepared to help designate incumbent Joe Biden as the party’s nominee heading into this November’s presidential election.

“Every state is different, and we want to make sure that the values of Mississippians are represented on a national level,” Taylor said. “We’re excited about [the DNC] because it’s going to help push the agenda to turn Mississippi purple if not blue.”

Taylor, who also serves as the representative for House District 38, will now serve as party chairman until 2028.

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