The Democrats settled their nominees Tuesday evening. Travis Childers took 74% of the vote to face the Republican nominee for the Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seat. Matt Moore defeated Trish Causey 6,131 to 4,900 to be the Democrat nominee for the 4th Congressional District.
The Republican Primary was a much different story. At last tally, Rep. Steven Palazzo leads 52,962 to Gene Taylor’s 45,186 and appears to have just over 50% of the vote. Palazzo claimed victory late Tuesday night but the Taylor campaign is still holding-out for a possible runoff.
The race for the Republican spot for U.S. Senate remains undetermined. Little consideration was given to Thomas Carey, a third candidate in the primary who drew just enough votes (1.7%) to prevent either Sen. Thad Cochran or Chris McDaniel from obtaining the required “50% +1” of the vote necessary to win the party nomination. It is still possible for McDaniel to win outright but all indications point to a runoff election on June 24th.
Sam R. Hall of the Clarion-Ledger is already predicting a McDaniel win if a runoff is required. Hall points to the excitement of the McDaniel supporters and the lack of momentum in the Cochran campaign as the biggest indicators.
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With the Mississippi Primary Elections one week away, candidates will be extra busy getting their messages out. The race for the state’s 4th Congressional District has been overshadowed by the negative and heated race for U.S. Senate. However, the two favorites, Steven Palazzo and Gene Taylor, appear to be in a close race as well.
Taylor continues to bash Palazzo for his support of Biggert-Waters Act (which reformed flood insurance), voting against Hurricane Sandy Relief, while blaming him for recent defense cuts and a failure to hold town hall meetings. Taylor emphasizes that he has always had traditional Mississippi values and that his party change only reflects that the Democrat Party left him, not the other way around.
Palazzo has been running on his record that earned him recognition as the most conservative member of the U.S. Congress from Mississippi. Meanwhile, he has been busy painting Taylor as a liberal Democrat who supported Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), voted countless times for trillions in spending and the liberal agenda, and switched parties only because Democrats are not electable in the state.
The Sun Herald reports that the candidacies of Tom Carter, Ron Vincent, and Tavish Kelly may draw enough conservative votes away from Palazzo to force a run-off. Although he says he hasn’t done any polling, Taylor is predicting the same. Outsiders Carter, Vincent, and Kelly continue to say that neither Palazzo nor Taylor will do enough to cut spending and shrink the national debt. At least Taylor has admitted as much saying that “Mississippi needs those federal dollars.”
In what likely amounts to an inconsequential race, Democrats Matt Moore and Trish Causey have been pushing their agendas of LGBT and women’s rights, equal pay.
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From the Sun Herald’s May 8th edition of “Around South Mississippi,” Gene Taylor said he declined an offer from Republican opponent Tom Carter to debate. “I think he sent it to the wrong guy,” said Taylor.
Taylor has been repeatedly been calling for a debate with incumbent Rep. Steven Palazzo who was unavailable due to the U.S. House of Representatives being in session.
Gene Taylor was interviewed by Tuesday morning on WDAM’s News 7 Sunrise program. During the 5-1/2 minute interview Taylor accused incumbent Rep. Steven Palazzo of supporting a cut in Defense spending and unlimited increases in flood insurance rates. Taylor took credit for getting mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to the troops, and over $21 Billion for post-Katrina relief. Saying the cuts in Defense will directly hurt Camp Shelby, Keesler AFB, the Gulfport Seabee Base, and Huntington-Ingalls Shipyard, the cuts will ultimately hurt our nation’s security.
Taylor thinks that Palazzo’s public outreach has been weak and vows to do a better job. If voted back into office, he’ll restart townhall meetings, work with local industries, restore confidence in government, and read the bills (inferring that Rep. Palazzo does or did not).
“I’ve always been pro-life, I’ve always been pro-gun, I’ve always been for a balanced budget, I’ve always been for a strong national defense; that’s not going to change. I’ve always put what is best for Mississippi ahead of either political party.”
For the entire interview, click WDAM News 7 Sunrise.
The Blessings of Liberty has compiled a list of background information on every south Mississippi candidate in the 2014 Primary Election. They are listed below with a hyperlink to posts with their views and additional links.
Several Reform and Libertarian Party and Independent candidates are campaigning for the U.S. Senate and House but do not have Primary Elections. Information on those candidates will be posted in the future.
Mississippi has open Primaries; voters can vote in either Primary regardless of political party affiliation but cannot vote in both. The 2014 Primary Election in Mississippi is June 3rd.
Democrats for 4th Congressional District:
Democrats for U.S. Senate:
Republicans for 4th Congressional District:
Republicans for U.S. Senate:
More information will be posted at The Blessings of Liberty as it becomes available.
No stranger to the Gulf Coast, former U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor served south Mississippi for 21 years before being unseated by Steven Palazzo in 2010. Taylor has switched to the Republican Party to return the challenge to Steven Palazzo in the Primary for the 4th Congressional District.
Describing why he changed from Democrat to Republican, Taylor cited the shift at the national level of the Democrat Party which went away from his fundamental beliefs in pro-life, pro-gun, pro-balanced budget, and for a strong national defense.
Positions listed below are from Taylor’s campaign website and his interview on Gulf Coast Mornings:
- National Defense: Sees Defense as the nation’s highest priority.”Can’t have a nation if you can’t defend yourself.” Proud of his record of growing the military presence in Mississippi and his service on the House Armed Services Committee.
- Economy: Ties south Mississippi’s economy to Defense and the priority of keeping the military on the Gulf Coast. Wants to grow Keesler AFB.
- Immigration: Wants to protect borders and prevent a flood of illegal immigrants. Believes in the legal path to citizenship and that it must be followed.
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Four candidates are vying to represent the Republican Party in the race for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Two of those candidates are well-known (incumbent Rep. Steven Palazzo and former Democrat Rep. Gene Taylor) while the other two (Tom Carter and Ron Vincent) are lesser known.
Paul Hampton reports in Reading the Tea Party’s tea leaves in District 4 that these lesser known candidates may have caused a splinter in the Tea Party support that could weigh heavily on the June 3rd Primary. Ron Vincent received the early endorsement of the South Mississippi Tea Party but that was recently retracted. Hampton opines just how such a split could affect Primary especially if Tom Carter should receive Tea Party endorsement.
The Blessings of Liberty was unable to find the endorsement or retraction on the South Mississippi Tea Party Facebook Page or their webpage but Y’all Politics also announced it today. The South Mississippi Tea Party webpage does indicate that Tom Carter will be at their next meeting on April 21st.
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WLOX’s Doug Walker interviewed 4th Congressional District Republican challenger Gene Taylor in a News This Week segment. Click here to see the 8-minute interview where Taylor discusses a broad range of topics.
David Elliott interviewed Gene Taylor, candidate for the 4th Congressional District, on WLOX’s “Sunday Night Extra.” The video was posted to Taylor’s Facebook page. Elliot asked about Taylor’s changing party affiliation and Taylor said he has always been pro-life, for a balanced budget, and a strong national defense and the Republican Party is a better place for him to be.
Taylor hit his main primary opponent, Rep. Steven Palazzo, for supporting the Biggert-Waters Act and the weaknesses of the Flood Insurance Reform Bill signed into law by President Obama earlier this week. He also stated that Palazzo voted to cut the Department of Defense budget and says that those cuts are directly responsible for causing the U.S. Air Force to move aircraft from Keesler AFB [the Air Force says it is in response to Army and Marine Corps strength reductions]. Taylor believes that, by voting against Hurricane Sandy relief, Palazzo will not be able to obtain the support of others in Congress when south Mississippi inevitably needs relief in the future.
In 2009, Taylor went against Democrat leadership by voting against Obamacare and pledged to vote for the best interest of the people of south Mississippi.
The Primary Election is June 3rd.
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In 2008, Rep. Gene Taylor cast a vote in favor of elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. C-Span captured the moment.
C-SPAN screenshot of Rep. Gene Taylor receiving a standing ovation in the House chamber after voting Nancy Pelosi for Speaker
After Taylor switched parties earlier this year, the June 3rd Republican Primary for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District will determine if voters remember or care.