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‘We have a great leader’: Taylor begins role as Mississippi Democratic Party chair

Photo from Rep. Cheikh Taylor/Facebook

State Rep. Cheikh Taylor has officially started in his role as chair of the Mississippi Democratic Party, following the public unraveling of former chair Tyree Irving.

Taylor, who has represented parts of Oktibbeha, Lowndes, and Clay counties since 2017, released his first statement since taking over the position, saying his initial focus will lie on uniting a party that has not won a statewide election since 2016.

“We are currently in the midst of a highly consequential election cycle, and our primary focus is on uniting Democrats across the state and electing candidates who are determined to move Mississippi forward,” Taylor said.

Less than four months out from this year’s general elections, the Democratic Party is looking to reclaim the governor’s seat with nominee Brandon Presley, who is challenging incumbent Republican Tate Reeves.

Taylor warned in his first statement that if Presley and other Democrats are not elected, Medicaid expansion and even restoration of the ballot initiative process will be much harder to attain under Republican leadership.

“Whether it is expanding Medicaid to address the healthcare crisis, restoring the ballot initiative to give a voice back to Mississippi voters, combatting corruption, or fully funding public schools, Democrats are the only candidates up and down the ticket who support policies that a majority of Mississippians want to see implemented,” he said.

Shuwaski Young, Democratic candidate for secretary of state and former congressional candidate, seconded Taylor’s notions while providing a stamp of approval for the new chairman.

“I think we have a great leader at the helm,” Young said. “I think that people are excited about this transition. I think that it will reinstitute morale within the party itself but also lead us into a direction where we can talk about the issues in a more effective way, making sure that we’re talking about all the things that matter to Mississippi.”

Taylor, whose position as party chair will coincide with his duties as a legislator, takes over for Irving after the former chair lambasted state executive director Andre Wagner in front of Democratic National Committee officials. Nevertheless, Taylor said Irving should be credited for his work with the state party.

“I would like to personally express my gratitude to Tyree Irving for his dedicated service in this role for over three years. Serving as Chair is often a thankless job that requires personal sacrifices, and in my opinion, his name should always be held in high regard for his commitment to the Democratic Party.”

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