After 21 Years South Mississippi Has A New CongressmanBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 02 Nov 2010 11:34am |
State Representative republican Steven Palazzo came out on top last night winning the 4th District Congressional race in south Mississippi, a seat held for the past 21 years by incumbent Democrat Gene Taylor. MPB’s Phoebe Judge reports.
Congressman Gene Taylor, a Democrat, has been able to find support for the last 21 years in what is generally regarded as a strong republican district. But last night, voters showed they were no longer comfortable with a democrat representing them in Congress. Election results started to trickle in around 9pm, with both candidates hovering around 50 percent of the vote, but slowly State Representative Republican Steven Palazzo started to pull away. At the Taylor campaign watch party in Gulfport, disappointed supporters, including State Representative Frances Fredricks began to realize that there long time congressman would likely lose,
“It’s shocking in a way that he lost, but it is not shocking when you look at how people were feeling about the whole country. But if you look at the two individuals it is a shock.”
At the Palazzo headquarters the mood was markedly more upbeat, as hundreds of supporters watched as a candidate who was thought to be a long shot only three months edged further ahead in the voting. Flo Stifull from Gulfport couldn’t wait to start the victory party,
“ I think he will represent Mississippi strong. He is not the type to say I did this, he will say we did this, we accomplished this and we need to get this change done.”
Just after 10 pm, with 96% of precincts reporting Palazzo with 52% of the votes, Congressman Taylor conceded. And Palazzo took the stage to roaring applause. The newly elected Congressman says he is going to Washington with an immediate list of things that need to be done,
“Of course my first priority is I am going to fire Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, it is going to be repeal the healthcare bill, make the tax cuts permanent, balance the budget.”
Congressman Gene Taylor who has won so many elections in South Mississippi, seemed to be taken the loss in stride,
“You just put it in perspective, and compared to the loss of a loved one, those poor kids in Walter Reed or Bethesda who have lost limbs, ah come on this is nothing.”
And after 21 years South Mississippi has a new Congressman.
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