Alphonso Michael Espy is the birth name of Mike Espy, a former U.S. Congressman (1987–1993) and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1993–1994), who in early 2018 announced his candidacy as a Democrat for the a seat in the U.S. Senate, representing the people of Mississippi. Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, he became the first black member of Congress since Reconstruction in that state, and he became the first black Secretary of Agriculture. He earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University (1975) and a juris doctor degree from the University of Santa Clara Law School (1978), after which he served in various positions in the Mississippi state government. Since leaving the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he has worked as an attorney. In 2018, he made an unsuccessful run in a special election for a Senate seat from Mississippi.