Blue Dogs caught in backlash
Expert says anti-incumbent, anti-Washington mood decisive

WASHINGTON — The fate of Rep. Gene Taylor shows just how bad the political environment was for conservative Democrats in the South this year.

The 21-year incumbent was hailed a hero for fighting for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He was a staunch advocate for military interests in his district. And he showed unity with constituents in his conservative district every time he broke with his party on key votes.

None of that kept Taylor from losing to his Republican challenger, Steven Palazzo, on Nov. 2.

Clarion Ledger