Mississippi Center for Justice attorney Ty Pinkins (right) and U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh discuss the unfair treatment of Black Delta farmers during a panel discussion in Indianola on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today

Leaders of the Mississippi Democratic Party are actively courting current U.S. Senate candidate Ty Pinkins to be the party’s nominee for the ongoing secretary of state’s race, according to a source with direct knowledge of the deliberations.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the party’s internal conversations, said details with Pinkins would likely be finalized within the coming days.

Pinkins is an attorney, Army veteran and native of Vicksburg. He spent much of the last two years aiding Black farmer workers in the Delta who were being paid less money for their work than white visa workers from South Africa doing the same jobs — a legal case that garnered national attention and spurred congressional hearings.

Since January 2023, Pinkins has been actively campaigning as a Democratic opponent against incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, who is up for reelection in November 2024.

READ MORE: Ty Pinkins, Army veteran and Delta advocate, announces U.S. Senate run

A representative for Pinkins did not return a request for comment. Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Cheikh Taylor, the person who would likely be leading discussions with Pinkins, also did not respond to a request for comment.

The state party is being forced to find a replacement for the office because its previous nominee, Shuwaski Young, withdrew his candidacy from the race because he recently experienced a sudden medical event. 

The State Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday afternoon formally approved a request from the Democratic Party to replace the vacancy left by Young.

READ MORE: State election board allows Democratic Party to pick new candidate for secretary of state

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Taylor, a native of Grenada, covers state government and statewide elections. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Holmes Community College. Before joining Mississippi Today, Taylor reported on state and local government for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, where he received an award for his coverage of the federal government’s lawsuit against the state’s mental health system.