Statement from Chairman Rickey Cole on the First Congressional District Special Election

Jackson, MS – Following the First Congressional District special election, Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole issued the following statement:

“We are proud of the fine campaign led by our Democratic candidate for Congress in yesterday’s election, Attorney Walter Zinn of Pontotoc. For two months, Walter worked tirelessly against steep odds and made remarkable progress in engaging thousands of voters personally and directly. Walter inspired and mobilized young voters and activists who are new to the process, and he reinvigorated veteran activists and voters who had grown weary. The seeds planted over the last two months by the Zinn for Congress campaign will grow and, in time, will yield positive results for North Mississippi. The Zinn campaign has set a new standard for maximizing the use of social media and grassroots organizing on the ground.

Attorney Zinn did himself great credit in this race, and I believe that a man of his talents and capacities is a treasure to Mississippi and to the Democratic Party. At age 34, Walter is already a leader of distinction and courage. We expect great things for him in the coming days, and look forward to seeing his star continue to rise.

I extend our highest commendations to the Democrats of the First Congressional District, led by Chairman Marshall Coleman of Calhoun County. It has been a long time since I have seen local party activists and volunteers put so much effective sweat equity into a grassroots effort. In the words of Vince Lombardi, the First Congressional District Democrats ‘left it all out on the field.’

The final percentages of the election totals were of course disappointing, but we see much to be proud of in an analysis of the numbers. The Democratic vote on June 2 was double that of the first election on May 12, with Zinn’s vote climbing from about 15,000 to about 30,000 in just three weeks’ time. For a longshot campaign with a modest budget, dependent upon volunteers, that speaks mighty well.

Finally, we congratulate Congressman-elect Trent Kelly. He ran a positive campaign, and conducted himself as a gentleman. He is a fitting successor to the late Congressman Nunnelee.

Remembering always that Mississippi Comes First, let us press on.”