U.S. Senate, Mississippi
Mike is a proud third generation Mississippian who attributes his Congressional aspirations to the legacy of his grandfather, a son of slaves who built a foundation for his descendants in the face of severe adversity. Mike’s father followed suit by becoming one of the first black USDA County Extension agents in Arkansas, later returning to Mississippi to raise his family while instilling in Mike a strong sense of public duty and hard work. Mike used these values effectively by becoming Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District representative from 1987-1993 before becoming the first black United States Secretary of Agriculture in 1993.
As a Congressman, Mike served on the House Budget Committee where he worked with others to reduce the burgeoning deficit. As head of USDA, he authored a landmark bill to reform and to restrain the growth of his own agency- a law that remains in force today. During the time of his oversight, efforts were made to raise the profile for food and nutrition services and protections for consumers. As a lawyer, Mike has defended racial and gender equality in several high-profile cases, and continues to insist upon the equality of all people regardless of age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or varying levels of disability in his Senate campaign.
Mike is running to replace 40-year Republican Senator Thad Cochran, who recently chose to retire due to health concerns. Mississippi is at a crossroads. For too long, the needs of the people of Mississippi have been lost in the chaos, bitterness and partisan wrangling that is Washington today. Mike’s campaign revolves around the central tenet of equality, with a particular focus on ensuring the civil liberties of women and minorities who have faced oppression for centuries in the United States. He is committed to increasing access to healthcare for all Mississippians, fostering a productive learning environment for Mississippi’s youth, and ensuring that Washington remains accountable to its tax-paying constituents. Mike also champions workers rights, and is dedicated to increasing the minimum wage, advocating for paid family leave, and increasing the supply of child-care services.