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Palazzo Begins Re-Election Campaign

December 15, 2011

Earlier this week, the Steven Palazzo campaign announced that he will have a reception on February 4 with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as the freshman faces the possibility of primary and general election challengers. Cantor wouldn’t be coming to the Fourth District if this race wasn’t at least on the NRCC’s radar, but I haven’t heard this race talked about as a Democratic takeover possibility at this point. You won’t find any mention of it from Rothenberg or Cook or Sabato, etc.

Part of that is because their is only one serious Democrat and that is the man Palazzo defeated last November- Gene Taylor. He recently told the Sun Herald that he is weighing his options, but isn’t committing one way or the other. He, and others, need to decide soon with a January 13 qualifying deadline. Comebacks aren’t unheard of, but they aren’t the norm either. But generally you will find them in swing districts, not a place like MS-04 which is very Republican, despite supporting Taylor over the years.

As an incumbent, Palazzo should have the money advantage. As of the latest reports, he has about $264,000- not a huge total, but he will obviously be able to raise money as the GOP looks to protect their incumbents. Taylor has about $30,000 in the bank. Taylor’s advantage, among other things, had long been his business connections and his ability to raise money. Those groups supported Taylor but generally tend to back the incumbent. It will be interesting to see which friends he can call on if he is the challenger.

But Taylor, if he entered, likely would have a pass through the Democratic primary while Palazzo may not get so lucky. Michael Watson again said he is looking at the possibility and Tea Party groups are saying someone will run. Not sure if Watson or someone else is their man. (They have also said someone will challenge Roger Wicker and so far nothing has come of that). But a primary could drain Palazzo’s resources for a certain period of time. But there will be nearly eight months in the time between the primary and general election.

If Taylor doesn’t enter, the GOP primary will decide this in all likelihood. Some Democrats may run, but they will face long odds regardless of who the GOP candidate is. For now, Taylor is the one to watch.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. CRJ permalink
    December 20, 2011 7:39 pm

    Taylor is running.

  2. adam permalink
    December 20, 2011 10:17 pm

    Yep. smart money is that Taylor will be in. And if Steven isn’t beaten in the primary, Taylor will go back in. Watson, McDaniel, Hewes… of you needs to step up to keep Taylor from reclaiming that seat.

  3. CRJ permalink
    December 21, 2011 5:34 am

    Adam, I believe Steve Simpson would be a strong candidate.

  4. nobody permalink
    December 31, 2011 8:20 pm

    You know Ron Williams did very well for a newcomer. I wonder how he would do as a candidate. He was very strong in the counties of the 4th district. It wouldn’t surprise me if he ran.

    • Coast Rat 4ever permalink
      January 2, 2012 9:11 am

      I really like your new pen name Ron. “nobody” is very fitting. I’ve felt all along that you would run Ron. But I question your claim of “very strong” in the 4th district counties. You came in a very distant third place right here in Jackson County (Ron’s home county). Can you offer us any explanation as to why not one single Jackson County official came out and endorsed you? Not one single state senator or representative from your home county. Not one single mayor, supervisor or alderman endorsed you. Its because we Jackson Countians know who and what you are really about Ron. This is why you were so soundly trounced in your home county. I suspect Carl the Downtown Rooster (local Ocean Springs celebrity) would get more votes than you in Jackson County.

      And how do you claim you did well for a new-comer when 91% of the R primary voters voted against you? My question is what party you would run under? After you publicly endorsed Dupree and paid for radio time for him the question arises that you may be a closet D??? You will definitely have to deal with your endorsement of Dupree if you run as an R or an I (not to mention your prescription medications usage). But I guess it may help you if you run as a D. Rumor around here is that you spent around $1M bucks of your own money only to have 91% of the voters reject you. That equated to about $40 per vote for you Ron. Certainly not what a reasonable person would call “very strong”. But it’s your money Ron so go ahead. But be ready to address your use of prescription meds to treat mental disorders…

      • Ron Williams permalink
        January 5, 2012 2:15 pm


        I don’t know who nobody is. But you’re weird when it comes to me. don’t know why.

        I don’t know if I’m running or not.

        R or D really doesn’t matter. It is the isues that count. we have got to start running this country based on what’s best for America, not based on political partisanship.

        We Republicans were outraged when Pelosi passed the last minute 2000 page spending bill without anyone knowing whats’ in it. When Boehner ( who raised the debt ceiling) passed a 1200 page last minute spending bill, we are OK with it.

        I know why you are upset with me. I expected to look out for your constituents and you failed. I called you on it.

        This election is about issues. If you can’t do your job based on issues other than personal obsessions, you should resign.

      • Ron Williams permalink
        January 6, 2012 1:13 pm


        You mentioned that not one Alderman or councilman endorsed me. I didn’t ask them to nor did I expect them too. I have long been a vocal opponent of Public Sector using tax dollars to control or compete with private sector.

        I’ll give you an example, The Pascagoula waterfront development of small business space along the Riverfront is an uinconstitutional endeavour. Here’s why, the city of Pascagoula, has no loegal authority to be in the commercial rental business. There are private sector developers and prioperty owners who now must compete with their own taxdollars in the marketplace.

        I own a piece of property that I would like to rent to a restraunt, but I am competing with the City of Pascagoula for business. while I have to fund my endeavours by generating a profit in the business world, ( a limiting factor) the City just Takes Tax dollars.

        The county and Port Authority, had no business Taking on the old Paper Mill or Thiokol properties, for two of many reasons. 1. There are citizens who own commercial waterfront propertry in Jackson County, who now must compete with their own taxdollars and Govt. officials. 2. It was never in the best interest of Jackson to be associated with the environmental liabilities of either property.

        You’re right, I had no Public official endorsement. ” I’m ok with that”

      • Ron Williams permalink
        January 6, 2012 1:22 pm

        One More example that many are familiar with. With our contry being so far in debt, why would you and other puiblic officials think it was prudent to spend $2,000,000.00 ( two million ) taxdollars to drag an old lighthouse piece to Hwy 90. ( “Grant” Money IS TAX DOLLARS TOO.

        I grew up visiting round Island and the old lighthouse . I understand It’s nostalgic value, but we didn’t have the money to spend.

  5. Kent@TheDysfunctionJunction permalink
    January 5, 2012 5:59 pm

    Should Gene Taylor decide to run again, I could see him mounting a very successful campaign against Palazzo. He’s definitely got the connections after years in the House to find the money that’s out there. As for a primary challenger, it would have to be someone with enough resources to compete with Palazzo’s leftover hoard and the RNC’s new contributions. I can’t see a democrat, other than Taylor of course, doing much damage in this very Republican district.

    Glad to see I’m not the only Mississippian who blogs about politics, Brett. I mostly do national politics, but I still follow it on a state level very closely. Thanks for what you do.

    Kent McCarty
    The Dysfunction Junction

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