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Palazzo Narrowly Avoids Runoff With Challenger Taylor

By Evelina Burnett | Published 04 Jun 2014 09:18pm | comments
Members of the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee resolution board open up a box containing uncounted ballots Wednesday morning.

Mississippi’s Fourth District Congressman Steven Palazzo has won the Republican primary for his House seat, narrowly avoiding a runoff against challenger Gene Taylor.

Members of the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee’s resolution board open up the box containing a number of uncounted ballots on Wednesday morning, the day after a hard-fought election for Mississippi’s Fourth District seat. It was these ballots that caused a hold-up in declaring a winner.

It wasn’t known on election night now how many ballots would be in these green bags – they contained mostly ballots sent to the wrong precincts the day before, which couldn't be read by the voting machines there.

But it turned out there were just 218 of these ballots, plus another 136 affidavit ballots - not enough to change the outcome of the election.

Palazzo has just over 50 percent of the vote, all he needs to avoid a runoff.

"The outcome was exactly what we expected," says Hunter Lipscomb, Palazzo's campaign manager. "We knew it would be a hard-fought election until the very end. Reminiscent of 2010, the northern counties prevailed, and the counts came in late, while the coast came in early - which made for a dramatic night. But we're very happy with the results."

In a statement Wednesday, Palazzo thanked his volunteers and supporters and vowed to continue working to ensure Mississippi values and voices are heard in Washington.

Taylor, who lost his congressional seat to Palazzo in 2010, says he’s disappointed on behalf of the many volunteers and donors who supported his campaign.

"We covered a lot of ground in less than 100 days," Taylor says. "We had 10,000 yard signs out and hundreds of bumper stickers, and a great team of true volunteers - people just donating their time and their funds. But we came up short. For their sake, I am very disappointed - I'm sorry I let them down."

Taylor says it’s “very unlikely” he will run again, though he says he won’t say never.

Palazzo will face a Democratic opponent and a number of independent candidates in November. 

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Members of the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee resolution board open up a box containing uncounted ballots Wednesday morning.


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