BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – Fourth District Congressman Gene Taylor's time in Washington ends in just a few days when Congressman-elect Stephen Palazzo is sworn into office.
We have done many interviews over the years with Congressman Taylor, but he stopped by our studios on December 30th, to chat with us one last time as a U.S. congressman. Here is a portion of that question and answer session.
"Congressman, when were you first sworn into office?" Jeff Lawson asked.
"It was late 1989 and, of course, I remember the day well," Taylor said. "In some ways, it seems like yesterday. In other ways, keep in mind my son was one year old and in diapers and now he is an ensign in the Navy Reserve, all three of my kids have graduated college."
"Is there one moment that defines those 21 years for you, and if so, what would it be?"
"I would think the days and weeks immediately after Katrina. I think for all of us, for you staying on the air, being able to get the Chief of Naval Operations on the phone, being able to get the hospital ship Comfort to Pascagoula. I would think the days and weeks after Katrina was when, you know, I and a lot of other people were doing what we could to save lives. And that was certainly worthwhile."
"Is the country better off today than it was when you took office 21 years ago?"
"Well, the district is certainly better off. There have been so many things done and so many things built in this district in the last 21 years. Look around, we have a brand new infrastructure here in South Mississippi. However, I must say that I deeply regret the runaway national deficit. It is something I warned about back when I took office. Unfortunately the Congress did not buy that argument. We went from $5 trillion to $13 trillion plus of debt."
"Will you run again?"
"I don't think so, but we will see. I am not going to never say never, but I love South Mississippi. One of my fears was that I would die in Washington. I don't want to die in Washington. I love South Mississippi, I have been trying to get back to South Mississippi, it seems like, my whole life."
"What is there about Gene Taylor that people might be surprised to know?"
"Well, that he is getting ready to take a welding course. I have been putting that off a long time, and I want to go get my 100 ton captain's license. I have been putting that off for a long time."
"Congressman, finish this last sentence for me: Gene Taylor is....?"
"Gene Taylor is a very grateful person."