Democratic Lawmakers Help Bankroll Blue Dog Gene Taylor

Blue Dog Democrats are members of Congress who wear blue, but aren’t afraid to lean a little to the right. In red-draped regions, such as parts of the South, Rust Belt and Midwest, shouldn’t Democrats who show a little love for their Republican brethren be rewarded?

That’s at least what 11-term Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) is hoping for.

Locked in what election-watchers are calling a toss-up race for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Taylor told the Biloxi Sun Herald that he voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential elections, instead of Democrat Barack Obama.

In 2008, Taylor cruised to re-election with 75 percent of the vote against Republican John McCray, who spent less than $20,000 on his failed congressional bid.

Taylor hasn’t faced a financially competitive challenger in more than a decade. This comes despite the fact that his district’s voters have no trouble voting for Republicans: They backed McCain by 36 percentage points in 2008 and supported Republican George W. Bush in 2004 by a similar margin.

Nevertheless, Taylor collected $11,500 from fellow Democrats during his 2008 congressional bid, and he’s collected $10,500 from Democratic leadership PACs and candidate committees since January 2009, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.