Time to get local. For awhile now I have heard rumors of a campaign sign or two going up for Democrat Gene Taylor. He’s the former ten-term representative of Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Well, yesterday afternoon I spotted one of his signs in downtown Ocean Springs (on Porter Avenue near Highway 90). He was beaten in 2010 by newcomer Steven Palazzo.
Will Taylor run? If he does, I speculate that he’ll be a major challenge to Steven Palazzo. The level of dissatisfaction with Palazzo is palpable, even within his own Republican Party. He quickly inserted himself into powerful and influential places in DC, but that’s what has proven to be the cause of his problems back home. You see, Steven Palazzo is the assistant whip. And he’s very proud of that. Since his election I’ve had two letters from him. Both make specific mention of his role as assistant whip.
In this role it’s his job to assist Speaker John Boehner in whipping the GOP members of the House into line for the big-government, big-spending Republican agenda. And that’s the rub with many of us in Palazzo’s district. He is an excellent representative for Boehner, but who is representing us? How many more times will the Republicans in the House vote to increase spending?
Palazzo beat Taylor by only 10,370 votes (according to the figures found on the website of the Mississippi Secretary of State).
Gene Taylor is well liked in South Mississippi, but Palazzo tied him closely to Nancy Pelosi and the healthcare debacle. Just a few months before the 2010 election I wrote Taylor and warned him that he’d better distance himself from Pelosi if he expected to keep his seat. Palazzo outspent him and beat him.
Will South Mississippians return to Gene in 2012? It wouldn’t be their first choice. I believe a true conservative running in the Republican Primary in March could take the nomination from Palazzo and then handily beat Taylor. It would take someone believable who is known to espouse genuinely constitutional values, someone practicing the politics of truth telling. He or she must speak well and be able to argue clearly about why the power and expense of government must be rolled back. We’ll watch and see what happens ….