GULFPORT — U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo secured victory in the Republican primary Wednesday afternoon when it became clear Gene Taylor, the former 4th District representative, would not gain enough ground to force a runoff.
Palazzo was spending time with his family Wednesday, but the Biloxian’s campaign sent out a statement: “It has been an honor to serve South Mississippi as the Republican representative of the Fourth Congressional District. I want to thank the countless volunteers and supporters who have stood beside me since 2010. Their support is what keeps me going in the fight against the runaway liberal agenda and the culture of corruption in Washington. I will continue working to ensure Mississippi values and voices are heard loud and clear in our nation’s capitol.”
Taylor, who is from Bay St. Louis, said he called to congratulate Palazzo on Wednesday afternoon.
“We accomplished a lot in less than 100 days, but obviously not enough,” said Taylor, a Democrat when he lost the office in 2010 to Palazzo.
“I can’t be any more proud of how my fellow Coastians voted.”
Taylor prevailed in Harrison, Hancock, Jackson and Stone counties, but Palazzo carried 10 others in the 4th District.
“I am disappointed that, despite my best efforts to turn things around in the northern counties, that didn’t happen,” Taylor said. “I regret that in very large numbers the northern counties went the other way.”
Taylor said he would never say never, but he is unlikely to run for the House again.
“I had to give it another try just in my own mind to see,” he said. “We worked very hard. My friends worked incredibly hard. Whatever remorse I have, it’s for their sake because they worked so hard.”