Brandon Presley, the former Democratic nominee for governor and former public service commissioner, will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2024, clearing the way for another Democrat to challenge Republican incumbent Roger Wicker.
“I’m not some election hopper looking for somewhere to land in public office,” Presley said in a Monday statement to Mississippi Today. “While I appreciate the confidence and encouragement I have received, I have zero interest in running for the U. S. Senate.”
If Presley, a native of Lee County in north Mississippi, had challenged Wicker, a Tupelo resident, it would have set up a bitter competition that pitted two north Mississippi candidates against one another.
Presley was the recent Democratic nominee for governor who raised a significant amount of campaign cash and narrowly lost the race to incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves. The race between the two was the closest governor’s race in two decades.
National Democrats attempted to recruit the former utility regulator to join the race, but Presley ultimately ruled against it. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, attempted to recruit Presley to run against Wicker and even visited the former utility regulator at his home in Nettleton, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Instead, Ty Pinkins, the former Democratic nominee for secretary of state and a civil rights attorney, is expected to announce Monday afternoon that he’s running for Senate. Pinkins, a Rolling Fork native, is the only Democrat to file papers to run in the race as of Monday.
The deadline for candidates to file paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate is Jan. 12 at 5 p.m. Party primaries will occur on March 12 and the general election will occur on Nov. 5.
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