UPDATED: Gene Taylor going back on the ballot
By Dwayne Bremer
Feb 28, 2014, 18:45
Former U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor announced Friday that he will be running for the Mississippi 4th Congressional Seat this June in the Republican primary.
Taylor's decision paves the way for a rematch with U.S. Rep Steven Palazzo, who defeated Taylor by a five percent margin in 2010.
The Fourth Congressional District encompasses the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast and north to parts of the Pine Belt.
Palazzo, of Gulfport, has already announced his intention to seek re-election.
He said Friday that he is looking forward to the race against Taylor and any other candidates.
"It took 25 years for my former Democratic opponent to make it into the Republican party and I welcome him to it," Palazzo said.
Taylor, a life-long resident of Bay St. Louis, said Friday that he will make an official announcement on March 6.
Taylor served ten terms as a Congressman in South Mississippi. He said he is switching to the Republican party for several reasons.
"Times have changed," Taylor said. "A Democrat today is not the same as it was when I first started. If I am pro-life, then I guess I'm a Republican. If I am pro-gun ownership, then I guess I'm a Republican. If I support a balanced budget, then I guess I'm a Republican. I'm running because our nation and South Mississippi needs a lot of help, and I think I'm the person who can provide that."
In the past four years, Taylor said he has continued to monitor national politics and serve his community.
Since 2012, he has been a member of the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission.
He said he hopes Hancock County will support him in his efforts.
"Hancock County is my home," he said. "I want every single vote in Hancock County."
This year's Republican and Democratic primaries in Mississippi will take place on June 4 and the general election will be held on Nov. 4.
So far, no other candidates for the 4th Congressional race have notified the Sea Coast Echo of their intentions to run.
The deadline for qualifying is today at 5 p.m.