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Democrat Ty Pinkins Relaunches 2024 Challenge to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker

Democrat Ty Pinkins speaks in front of Black Mississippi state legislators
Democrat Ty Pinkins announced his renewed bid for Mississippi’s United States Senate seat on Jan. 8, 2024 in Jackson, Miss. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

JACKSON, Miss.—Mississippi Democrat Ty Pinkins relaunched his 2024 bid to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker during a press conference inside the Mississippi Capitol Building rotunda in Jackson on Monday.

Pinkins, a military veteran and former lawyer for the Mississippi Center for Justice, said his campaign will focus on prioritizing an affordable, high-quality health-care system, equitable education and “an economy that works for all Mississippians, not just the wealthy but middle-class and low-income communities as well.”

“In 2024, our country is at a crossroads. This is a critical election. We have a chance to shape our destiny with our votes and an opportunity to come together to make a choice about our future, Mississippi’s future, America’s future,” Pinkins said on Jan. 8.

Pinkins originally launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat last January before subsequently running for Mississippi secretary of state seat after Democratic nominee Shuwaski Young dropped out of that race for health reasons in August 2023. On Nov. 7, 2023, Pinkins lost to incumbent Republican Secretary of State Michael Watson by a 19-point margin.

During his campaign announcement on Monday, Pinkins accused Mississippi’s elected leaders, including Wicker, of failing the state; he cited the failing rural hospitals rural hospitals, the refusal of state leaders to expand Medicaid coverage, the nation’s highest infant mortality rate and “an open attack on the ability of women to make their own healthcare decisions.”

“For nearly two decades my opponent has been sitting in Washington failing our communities and that’s far too long,” he said.

Pinkins hearkened back to his upbringing in the Mississippi Delta, saying that his parents instilled in him the importance of a good education.

“Even though my parents never got a formal education, they taught me the value of a good education. I’m a proud product of Mississippi public schools. I never forgot what my parents taught me about a quality education,” he said.

He said that if elected, he would prioritize equitably funding public schools and said that he was in favor of legislation like the federal Pay Teachers Act, which would establish a minimum salary for public elementary and secondary school teachers nationwide.

Pinkins said he is hopeful that Mississippians are ready for representation in a renewed political system and pledged to make stops in each of the Magnolia State’s 82 counties.

“Let us remember that our collective future is not written for us but by us,” Pinkins said. “In our state, which has produced some of this country’s most prolific writers, we have the power to pen a new chapter for Mississippi. A story of unity over division, compassion over indifference and progress over stagnation.”

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