JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Shuwaski Young, the Democratic nominee for Mississippi secretary of state, will withdraw his candidacy ahead of the November general election as he battles health issues.

Weeks before Young’s Sunday announcement, he had secured the Democratic nomination to take on Republican incumbent Michael Watson after running unopposed in the Aug. 8 primary election.

“Recently, I suffered a hypertensive crisis which placed an immediate and continuous challenge on my ability to campaign for the Office of Secretary of State,” Young said in a news release. “My intent was to press forward knowing full-well the risk being placed on my health due to a rigorous campaign schedule. I can no longer take this risk.”

Young worked in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during Barack Obama’s presidency and in the Secretary of State’s Office under Democrat Eric Clark and Republican Delbert Hosemann. He launched his campaign for secretary of state after running unsuccessfully for Mississippi’s 3rd District congressional seat in 2022.

The Neshoba County native had centered his campaign around reforms that he said would make voting easier, such as expanding early voting, mail-in ballots and online voter registration.

Watson, who is now running without a Democratic opponent, was elected secretary of state in 2019 after three terms in the state Senate. He says his office has worked to build confidence in Mississippi’s election process by supporting a law to strengthen proof of citizenship requirements for voting and shoring up paper trails for voting machines.