State Rep. Steven Palazzo beat political newcomer Joe Tegerdine in Tuesday’s Republican Congressional primary.
Palazzo now faces conservative Democrat U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, who was first elected to Congress in 1989, in the Nov. 2 general elections. Libertarian candidate Kenneth “Tim” Hampton and Reform Party candidate Anna Jewel Revies, both of Hattiesburg, also will appear on the November ballot.
The Associated Press had called Tuesday’s 4th Congressional District primary for Palazzo by 9:15 p.m. With 96 percent of precincts reporting by late Tuesday, Palazzo had 57 percent of the vote to Tegerdine’s 43 percent. Palazzo had 13,760 votes to Tegerdine’s 10,195.
The 4th Congressional district stretches from the Coast, north to near Meridian, and includes the Coast and upland cities such as Hattiesburg, Petal, Waynesboro and Wiggins. Palazzo, 40, who was born in Gulfport and lives in Biloxi, battled the label as a Coast candidate in the contest with Tegerdine, a Petal businessman.
Palazzo told the Sun Herald he was “exhilarated” upon hearing he had won.
“I owe it all to my supporters and friends and the people of South Mississippi,” he said.