Taylor’s certification is not certain. He spent nearly 30 years as a Democrat, serving on Bay St. Louis’ city council, as a member of the Mississippi Senate and eventually, Congress. His party switch took the state’s GOP leadership by surprise. A staffer at the state GOP headquarters in Jackson was unaware of Taylor’s intent to qualify against Palazzo until a reporter mentioned it Friday.
The 52-member executive committee will meet at 2 p.m. at the party headquarters to consider the certifications. The meeting is closed to the public.
The committee will have another option besides an up or down vote on Taylor’s candidacy. It could vote to hold a hearing that would have to happen within 48 hours at which Taylor would have to be present. In that hearing, Taylor would be asked to outline his stance on particular policy issues, and likely have to indicate who he would support as House speaker. The committee would vote on his certification after that hearing.
Taylor did not immediately respond to a message left on his cell phone Wednesday. State GOP chairman Joe Nosef said he would be available after the executive committee met.