Potential Palazzo challengers lining up

BILOXI — He was swept into office last year by TEA Party–fueled anti-incumbency fervor, but now freshman U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo has some of the same forces lining up against him for his first re-election bid.

And one misstep after another producing headlines in Washington and at home isn’t helping him.

At least three powerful potential challengers are pondering a run for the District 4 House seat:

n Former 21-year Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor, whom Palazzo defeated last year

n State Sen. Michael Watson of Pascagoula, a rising star in the state GOP whom many had pushed to challenge Taylor in 2010

n Well-connected Republican lawyer and Coast business leader Brian Sanderson, who helped head Gov. Haley Barbour’s Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

Also, John Rhodes, chair of the local TEA Party group, last week said: “We are going to put a TEA Party candidate up against Palazzo.”

Sun Herald
12/10/11