Joe Tegerdine, who made a spirited but unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination in the Fourth District earlier this year, broke a four plus month period of silence to endorse Gene Taylor- the man he hoped to be facing off against.
In a concession-like blog post, Tegerdine said he would not publicly endorse a candidate (that blog post is no longer available but we have the cached version), but decided to do so because “so many people asked for my opinion.”
So what all does this mean? After all, Tegerdine put up a respectable showing in the primary winning something like 42 percent of the vote. Among that group is a loyal, but small following (who was out in force before the primary and still pops ups today) that never warmed up to Steven Palazzo so they weren’t planning on voting for him anyway.
But as polls have shown, Palazzo is doing pretty well at winning over most Republican voters.
Whether you have noticed or not there is certainly an orchestrated movement to smear Palazzo. As you would imagine, it has picked up steam as Palazzo’s campaign picked up steam in the polls. The Tegerdine endorsement- one week before Election Day- just may be the culmination of this effort.
I have talked with Republican sources on the Coast and they seem to indicate that Taylor’s forces are behind most of the attacks. I am not sold. After all, Tegerdine’s post-primary blog post read less like a concession speech and more like a 2012 campaign kickoff. Over the summer it looked like Tegerdine would have another shot at the seat as Palazzo was going to be just the next Republican to lose to Taylor. Of course, that has since changed. Should Palazzo win; there would be no chance for Tegerdine in two years (or at least any realistic shot).
My first reaction was Tegerdine is just trying to help Taylor so he can get another shot in two years. But by doing this, Tegerdine ruined any chance he had of ever getting elected as a Republican in the state of Mississippi. Therefore, this endorsement wasn’t so much about his own political career, but a selfishness and bitterness that never went away.
Update: Here is a response from Taylor on the endorsement: “Well, I think you need to read his letter. I think he spells it out that he felt like even though we disagree on some things, that I am a straight shooter, that my concerns have been for a balanced budget all along, and that in 21 years I have shot straight with people every time.” Palazzo didn’t directly respond to the endorsement, but he obviously can’t say the things we can.