At least two candidates look to be challenging Steven Palazzo in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District in 2020.

Carl Boyanton and Samuel Hickman have been traveling throughout South Mississippi talking to Republican groups on their bid for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Palazzo was first elected to Congress in 2010, defeating longtime Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor, and is seeking his 6th term.  He has been able to retain the seat for the last decade, winning both primary and general election challenges averaging 60-70% of the vote.

Palazzo currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee and on two subcommittees: Homeland Security and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies.  He is the senior Republican Congressman in Mississippi’s federal delegation in the U.S. House.

Congressman Steven Palazzo

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and for the trust the great people of South Mississippi have instilled in me,” Congressman Palazzo told Y’all Politics.  “I would be honored to once again earn their vote and continue our fight to protect those conservative values we hold dear.  My priorities remain strengthening our military, bringing more jobs to our State, and securing our borders. We are on the right track with President Trump in office, and it’s extremely important that everyone gets out and votes in this upcoming election.”

Both Boyanton and Hickman have ties to Pearl River County, an area where Palazzo has seen strong voter support in the past.  Boyanton grew up in Picayune and then moved to Diamondhead, while Hickman now resides in Picayune.

Boyanton’s background is in the produce business.

A Twitter check shows that Boyanton is a supporter of President Donald Trump and has stated that he wants to get into politics to help “get rid of career politicians” through term limits.

In an interview with Y’all Politics he said his primary goal would be to initiate term limits for elected officials. He follows the model of 12 years for both the U.S. House and Senate.

“I think we have such a divided house that if we had term limits we wouldn’t have ever even gotten to this point. We have career politicians that just want to show their power,” said Boyanton.

He believes that if the allowed term limits are equal for each side, there is a better chance of getting it passed among lawmakers. He went on to add that politics was never meant to be a career.

Boyanton provided the following statement as to why he is challenging Palazzo:

“The difference between me and the other candidates namely Palazzo is that I don’t want to make politics my career. There is a couple other candidates getting in the race and as with Palazzo they want to make politics a career.  I believe the way congress was formed was to go and serve then go home. I actually intend to push term limits, I think this is the only way to get congress working again. With term limits we wouldn’t be where we are now with the career politicians holding up Trump at every turn. Term limits work for the President and Governors so I think it will work the same with a do nothing congress. 
“When trying to drain the swamp we in Mississippi can’t keep electing swamp creatures and sending them back. Palazzo is the poster boy for the establishment swamp. All it takes is to look at his FEC filings and you can see where he gets his marching orders from. DC PACs and lobbyist give him almost 75 percent of his donations. Another 15 percent comes from outside the state PACs and lobbyist and the smallest portion comes from individual Mississippi donations. Hardly a grass roots candidate.”
Boyanton criticized current Congressman Palazzo saying he was a ‘no show’ when it comes to advocating for Mississippians and plans to change that if elected. He added that he would be present for more than just ‘standing behind for photo opportunities.’

Hickman recently worked in DC as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Trent Kelly (MS01) and actually interned for Palazzo’s office prior to his time with Kelly.

Hickman also appears to be a staunch backer of President Trump, sharing his disdain for the House Impeachment proceedings on Twitter.

In his statement to Y’all Politics on why he is seeking the 4th District seat, Hickman said:

“For far too long, in elections all across the Nation we have  had someone and something to vote against and not something to vote for. It is time we give the people someone to vote for. It’s time we put our best foot forward on the national level, and it’s time we bring new eyes, innovative solutions, and proactive measures to some of the same problems we have always faced here. 
“I am not doing this to be a politician, I am doing this because I am a leader and I want to help lead South Mississippi in the direction we deserve.  I am doing this to bring hope to the generations that have come before me that not all young people are falling in line for the socialist agenda. I am doing this to inspire the generations that will come after me that there are things that are worth standing up and fighting for.  I am doing this to give South Mississippians someone to vote for.”

Both candidates have active websites up and running, as well as social media channels.  To visit their campaign websites and review their networks, click here for Boyanton and here for Hickman.

The qualifying deadline for Congressional seats is this Friday, January 10th.  The Primary Election is March 10th.