MS Senate: Mike Espy (D)
Mike Espy is a Democrat running for the U.S Senate to represent the state of Mississippi. Espy is running against incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith in the November 3, 2020 general election. The Senate hopeful previously ran against Hyde-Smith in a special run-off election in 2018 but lost.
Espy was born and raised in Yazoo, Miss., and graduated from Howard University and Santa Clara Law School. After practicing law in the Mississippi Delta, Espy became the state’s assistant secretary of state where he helped reform state school funding to help increase revenue for Mississippi rural schools. Later, the senate candidate became Mississippi’s attorney general where he was the director of consumer protection.
Following his time as attorney general, Mike Espy became Mississippi’s first African-American congressman since the Reconstruction Era. As a congressman, he wrote an economic development bill benefitting rural Mississippi that was signed into law by President Reagan.
Six years later, President-elect Bill Clinton nominated Espy to be secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, the first Black person to hold that position. He personally negotiated foreign trade deals expanding markets for American farmers and took on entrenched interests to adopt reforms in the food inspection system.
Mike Espy returned to his home state to practice law and to serve on the board of a non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives in the rural Mid-South. He ran for the U.S Senate in 2018 and received 47% of the vote.
Today, the senate candidate lives in Jackson, Miss., with his wife and three children.
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