BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo fought off a fierce competitor in Gene Taylor to pull ahead in the Republican primary for Mississippi's 4th Congressional District Tuesday night.
The vote count stayed extremely close all evening, and at one point it wasn't clear if hundreds of affidavit ballots could make a difference in the race.
But with 100 percent of the vote in Palazzo finished with 51 percent (52,511) to Taylor's 43 percent (44,679). Congressman Palazzo declared victory Tuesday night, and asked his opponents' supporters to join his campaign in November.
"We are extremely happy," Palazzo told WLOX News Tuesday night. "I can't tell you about the hundreds of volunteers that came out and supported us. And the thousands of Mississippians all across the 4th Congressional District that went and voted today. They understand that they have a proven conservative that went there and has been fighting for four years, for them and their families. I look forward to fighting for them for another two years."
Palazzo said he knew he had a tough race ahead of him in the primary, facing the man who he defeated four years ago to win this very seat. But he was happy to see his message resonated with voters in South Mississippi.
"You never know what to expect. Politics is a fickle sport," Palazzo said. "We went to the voter. We talked to them. They like what we have to offer. We are going to keep doing that the next two years. We are going to take on the Obama Administration. We are going to hold them accountable for the scandals they have gone through. And we are going to fight for our military, our men and women not just here on the Gulf Coast, but all across the nation."
Palazzo now faces Democrat Matt Moore, Independent candidates Cindy Burleson and Ed Reich, Libertarian Candidate Joey Robinson and Reform Party Candidate Eli "Sarge" Jackson in the general election November 4.
Take a closer look at all the numbers from Tuesday's primary: http://www.wlox.com/link/275969/june-3rd-election-results