WASHINGTON — Mississippi Republican state representative Steven Palazzo has toppled 11-term Congressman Gene Taylor. The incumbent had distanced himself from the President and the agenda of his Democratic colleagues in the House. But not enough to avoid the wave of anti-incumbent fervor. Elizabeth Wynne Johnson reports from Washington.
GONZALES This election is not about a deep love of Republicans or a deep love of the tea party.
This is about a deep distrust of incumbents. Taylor has been doggedly un-Democrat-like over the last two years – voting against the President and his Party’s economic stimulus package, the health care overhaul and a cap-and-trade climate bill. But Taylor’s fiscal conservatism couldn’t save him from the Republican resurgence.
GONZALES Most voters realize that the economic problems that we are facing didn’t start on the Democrats’ watch but they are looking for progress or movement toward a solution. And right now people aren’t feeling it.
As chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower, Taylor staked his reputation in part on efforts to bring home billions of dollars’ worth of shipbuilding contracts. Taylor’s departure could leave the Armed Services Committee without any members from the Mississippi delegation.
Democrat Bennie Thompson easily held on to his 2nd District seat; however, the Democrats’ loss of their majority status in the House means that Thompson will no longer be chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.