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Cheikh Taylor fends off challenger, wins full term as state Democratic Party chairman 

The Mississippi Democratic Party’s executive committee on Saturday voted to make state Rep. Cheikh Taylor its chairman for a full term, choosing the Oktibbeha County lawmaker over north Mississippi attorney and businessman Wil Colom, who also sought the position.

Jacqueline Amos, a National Democratic Executive Committee member from Mississippi, in a statement congratulated the state party’s officers on winning the election to a four-year term and said with the regional and local party leaders, they could lead Mississippi Democrats “onward and upward.” 

“It is a great day to be a Democrat,” Lee said. “Chairman Cheikh Taylor, who stepped up during our darkest hour last year, will now have a chance to lead us toward better days.” 

Taylor is a two-term lawmaker who represents Oktibbeha, Clay and Lowndes County. The party voted last year to install him as its new chairman after it ousted former Court of Appeals Judge Tyree Irving over an email he sent to national Democratic Party officials. 

READ MORE: Ousted Democratic Party leader claims in lawsuit that he should still be in charge

The executive committee rejected Colom, who had been involved in state and national politics for decades, to lead the organization that has struggled to compete in a Deep South state dominated by the Republican Party. 

Colom, who was on the national finance committee for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, told executive committee members that he would have implemented a robust fundraising operation if they had chosen him to lead the state party.  

Colom told Mississippi Today on Monday that he was disappointed in some circumstances surrounding the executive committee’s weekend meeting but accepted the election outcome. 

“I hope the chairman is successful in the things he wants to accomplish,” Colom said.  

The committee’s decision to keep Taylor as its chairman means it opted to keep some continuity in a party that decided to switch chairman in the middle of last year’s statewide election cycle. 

If the organization had chosen Colom as the leader, he would have been the third chairman in a year. 

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