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Mississippi Democrats in flux after chair’s emails lead to resignation

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Shuwaski Young, who at the time was the Democratic candidate for Mississippi's Third Congressional District, addresses the crowd at the pavilion in Founders Square at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., Wednesday, July 27, 2022. Young is running for Secretary of State in 2023 and released a statement following internal emails at the Mississippi Democratic Party going public.
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

State Democrats will soon see a change in leadership after turbulence within the party was made public last week.

Lacey Alexander

Mississippi Democrats in flux after chair’s emails lead to resignation


The chair of Mississippi's Democratic Party has voluntarily stepped down. Tyree Irving's removal was expected to be voted on by party officials July 6th, but the chairman delivered a letter of resignation over the weekend saying that he would no longer hold the position as of midnight on July 22. 

The change in leadership comes after Irving sent a sharply-worded email to his second in command, telling him to "find his place and stay in it" when discussing campaign funds. Mississippi Today published text from the email exchange, prompting committee members to ask for an emergency meeting and others within the party to call for Irving’s removal.

Jodie Brown is the Executive Vice Chair of the Mississippi Democratic Party. She says that there are "mixed feelings" within the organization.

“There's sadness, because whether we voted for him or not originally, we all wanted to see Chairman Irving have a very successful four-year term,” she said. “But at the same time, we're very grateful for his service and very grateful that he is putting the party ahead of other feelings. Hopefully we'll have a gracious transition period.”

Brown says the party is trying to refocus on primaries and the elections in November, where statewide offices and legislative seats will all be on the ballot. 

Democratic Secretary of State nominee Shuwaski Young released a statement last week when Irving's emails went public, saying that the chairman had "railroaded critical relationships that would benefit Mississippi."

“It definitely shocked me… I just don't feel that things like that should be released to the public,” he said. “It's unfortunate that it actually happened, but it's a clear indicator of that… We have to be able to conduct ourselves in a way in which we can maintain people's respect.”

The state's party is expected to receive a $250,000 dollar donation from the national democratic party this election season. Brown says an election of a new chair will be handled by the executive committee at a later date.