Vincent hoping to slip into District 4 runoff in South Mississippi

GULFPORT — Ron Vincent is pretty sure he’s running back in the pack in the Republican primary for the District 4 congressional seat but he says he sees a way he could slip into the runoff.

“As I read the tea leaves today, I think (Gene) Taylor is probably out front solidly followed by (Steven) Palazzo and if the election were today, they would probably end up in a runoff,” the Hattiesburg Republican told the Sun Herald in an interview Thursday. “My job is to beat Palazzo and it’s going to be an uphill battle but I’m not totally out of it — I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.”

Tom Carter and Tavish Kelly also are running in the primary.

He said normally, an off-year election would have a low turnout but he’s expecting to see a larger-than-normal turnout because of the excitement created by state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s challenge for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. He also expects turnout to lean toward older voters.

“I play that circuit well,” said Vincent, himself a retiree after being a businessman behind the Iron Curtain, then working for GE in South Mississippi.

He said he would remind them their Social Security checks have gone up hardly at all in the last five years and President Barack Obama has taken $768 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

“It’s already pinching their Medicare,” he said.

He said he would also fight for veterans benefits, which he said have been cut.

And he said he promises better communication and constituent services.

“With Palazzo, there’s a little bit of buyer’s remorse,” he said. “Up until recently if you called up to Steven’s offices … you didn’t hear back from him.”