/Irving elected first Black leader of Mississippi Democratic Party since 1998

Irving elected first Black leader of Mississippi Democratic Party since 1998

Irving, a Greenwood native aged 74, was awarded 54 votes in a virtual Saturday meeting of the 80-member Democratic executive board. He defeated Earle Banks (longtime state Rep.), who received 21 votes. Irving spoke to the committee shortly after his election, saying that he was grateful for the confidence and trust he had earned. The party chairman is typically the face of the party, communicating its policy goals, raising funds, and making sure that political operations run smoothly. Bobby Moak, the Democratic chairman since 2016, was replaced by Irving. He abruptly withdrew from his bid to reelect him on Friday afternoon. Recent criticisms by Democratic candidates and leaders have been made of party leaders for not investing resources in electing Black candidates. This is despite the fact that white voters are leaving the party in large numbers and Black voters making up a significant portion of the party’s base. Despite the fact that at least 70% of Mississippi Democratic Party’s voters are Black, Moak and the other party chairmen have been white. Only twice in modern history has an African American been the chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. From 1987-1994 Ed Cole, a Black male, was the chairman. From 1994 to 1998, Johnnie Walls (Greenville state senator) held the seat. READ MORE: The overwhelming majority of Mississippi Democratic Party base are black voters. Why are party leaders so white? Other party members also lamented the lack of leadership and support for candidates. This was especially evident in light of the party’s poor showing in the 2019 state elections. Republicans won all the statewide offices last ye, solidifying their supermajority control over the state Legislature and increasing local down-ticket wins. Irving spoke to Mississippi Today earlier in the week. He stated that his vision was turning Mississippi blue. “I have always been optimistic and forward-looking, believing that we can accomplish our goals despite all odds. “We need to create a good messaging program and convince many white Mississippians that their economic interests are being harmed by their voting choices. It’s not an easy task. Problem is the lack of white leadership. Irving said, “If they tried, they failed at it.” If we want to build this party, and win statewide elections, we have to change the culture. Irving was elected to Mississippi Court of Appeals 1998. He was reelected in 2002. In 2018, he retired. In 2018, he retired. He was the first African American to be a clerk at the Mississippi Supreme Court, in 1975. In 1978, he became the first African American assistant U.S. Attorney in Mississippi since Reconstruction. Banks told the party’s executive committee, “I just wanted (Irving), to congratulate him on his victory,” shortly after the election. “Our problems and issues do not intersect. To defeat the Republicans, we must work together. “x000D_I look forward to working together with you and any other elected officials.”