Note: This post is in response to, and support of the “Bush Dog” project at Open Left. This, like all the other profiles, is a work in progress. If you have any insight or information to add to this profile, please do so in the comments.
Gene Taylor MS-04, was first elected to the House in 1989, replacing Larkin Smith in a special election after his death. He won election to a full term in 1990 by a large margin, and has seen little significant opposition since. Taylor is one of the most conservative members of the Democratic caucus. He has consistently acted contrary to Democratic platforms on issues such as; abortion, gay marriage, the PATRIOT Act, and separation of Church and state issues. He opposes privatizing Social Security and much of the Bush tax plan.
Taylor is a member of the Blue Dogs. He votes with the Democratic Party 79% of the time. In the 110th Congress, Taylor has voted against Democrats on 6 of 11 key votes. Similarly, in the 109th he voted against Democrats on 8 of 17 key votes. His PPI is 50.15. Taylor is a member of the House Armed Services and Transportation and Infrastructure committees. In 2006 Taylor received 60% of his fundraising from PAC’s, 78.8% of that coming from business (47.28% of his total).
Taylor has run with little opposition since his election in 1989 winning as much as 80% of the vote in this heavily conservative district.
MS-04 is located in the southeast corner of the state. All or part of 15 counties are represented in the district. The largest cities are Hattiesburg (150k metro), Gulfport (71k) and Biloxi (50k). Population totals in the district have probably dropped as the result of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. MS-04 has a Cook rating of R+16.3, the third highest Republican rating of a Democratically held seat behind Edwards TX-17 (R+ 17.7) and Matheson UT-02 (R+16.9).