Steven Palazzo

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Steven Palazzo
Steven Palazzo, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Gene Taylor
Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives
from the 116th district
In office
December 14, 2006 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Leonard Bentz
Succeeded by Casey Eure
Personal details
Born (1970-02-21) February 21, 1970 (age 49)
Gulfport, Mississippi, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lisa Belvin
Children 3
Alma mater University of Southern Mississippi
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps Reserve
Mississippi Army National Guard
Years of service Marine Corps Reserve: 1989–1996
Army National Guard: 1997–present[2]
Rank Army-USA-OR-05.svg Sergeant[2]
Battles/wars Gulf War
Iraq War[2]

Steven McCarty Palazzo (born February 21, 1970) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Mississippi's 4th congressional district since 2011. The district takes in most of Mississippi's share of the Gulf Coast and includes Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, Laurel and Hattiesburg. He is a member of the Republican Party. Palazzo defeated 10-term Democratic incumbent Gene Taylor with 52% to 47% of the vote in the 2010 mid-term election. Previously, he served in the Mississippi House of Representatives, having represented District 116 from 2006 to 2011. Palazzo again defeated Taylor in the June 2014 Republican primary election. Taylor switched parties in a bid to return to his former House seat.[3]

Early life, education, and military service

Palazzo was born February 21, 1970 in Gulfport.[4] He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1988, and served with the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company in the Persian Gulf War. He currently serves in the Mississippi Army National Guard. He received a Bachelor's and MPA from the University of Southern Mississippi, and is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated from Gulfport High School in 1988. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Mississippi House of Representatives


In April 2006, incumbent Republican State Representative Leonard Bentz of Mississippi's 116th House District resigned because he was appointed to the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Palazzo defeated Democratic candidate Maryann Graczyk, an education lobbyist, and Republican George Emile, a funeral home director, 51%–26%–24%.[5] In 2007, running unopposed, he was elected to a full term.[6]


Palazzo was awarded the 2009 Elected Official of the Year from the MS Wildlife Federation. The Mississippi Business Journal and the Sun Herald (2005) named Palazzo as a Top Business Leader under 40.[7]

Committee assignments

He served on the Banking and Financial Services, Juvenile Justice, Labor, Select Committee on the Gulf Coast Disaster, and the Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committees.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives



Palazzo entered the Republican primary for Mississippi's 4th congressional district and won the nomination with 57% of the vote. He faced 10-term Democratic incumbent Gene Taylor in the general election. Although the 4th has turned almost solidly Republican at the federal level, Taylor had held the seat without serious difficulty. His voting record had been very conservative even by Mississippi Democratic standards, and he'd often broken with his party. Palazzo established himself as Taylor's strongest opponent since 1996. In particular, he attacked Taylor for supporting Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker in 2006 and 2008.[8] He was endorsed by Sarah Palin and in the November 2010 general election, Palazzo defeated Taylor 52%–47%.[9]


In the Republican primary, he defeated two challengers with 74% of the vote.[10] In the November election, he defeated Democratic candidate Matthew Moore 64%–29%.[11]


In the Republican primary, Palazzo faced four challengers, including his predecessor, Taylor. Palazzo won 50.5% of the vote while Taylor won 43% of the vote. Three minor candidates made up the remaining percentage. Taylor actively campaigned and drew large numbers of Democrats into the Republican Primary.[12] Palazzo was targeted by the Club for Growth.[13]

On Nov. 4th 2014, Palazzo easliy defeated Democrat Challenger Matt Moore 69.9% to 24.3% four minor party or independent candidates accounted for 3.8% of the vote. He had previously defeated Moore in 2012 64%–29%.[14]


Palazzo voted with his Republican colleagues to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, and force to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Palazzo was one of the initial co-sponsors of the Social Media Working Group Act of 2014 (H.R. 4263; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to establish within the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a social media working group (the Group) to provide guidance and best practices to the emergency preparedness and response community on the use of social media technologies before, during, and after a terrorist attack.[15] Palazzo stated that "social media has played a crucial role in emergency preparedness and response in Mississippi, including during disasters like Hurricane Isaac and the tornadoes that hit the Hattiesburg area a little over a year ago."[16] He said that their goal with the bill was to "build upon existing public-private partnerships and use social media in a more strategic way in order to help save lives and property."[16]

On April 7, 2014, Palazzo introduced the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4412; 113th Congress), a bill that would authorize the appropriation of $17.6 billion in fiscal year 2014 to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).[17][18] NASA would use the funding for human exploration of space, the Space Launch System, the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, the commercial crew program, the International Space Station (ISS), and various technological and educational projects.[17][19] Palazzo said that "American leadership in space depends on our ability to put people and sound policy ahead of politics."[19]

Committee assignments

Personal life

Palazzo is married to the former Lisa M. Belvin. He is a member of the Rotary, VFW, NRA, MS Society of CPAs, USM Alumni Association; Boys & Girls Club Board Member; Marine Corps Association and AICPA.


  1. Blessing, Kelly (2011-05-25). "Why he matters". Who Runs Gov. Retrieved 2011-08-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Cameron Joseph, Ex-Rep. switches parties to run again". Retrieved March 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Archived from the original on May 11, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "MS State House 116 – Special Election Race – Nov 07, 2006". Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "MS State House 116 Race – Nov 06, 2007". Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Steven Palazzo – U.S. Congress". Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Taylor: I voted for McCain – Jessica Taylor". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "MS – District 04 Race – Nov 02, 2010". Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "MS District 04 – R Primary Race – Mar 13, 2012". Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "MS – District 04 Race – Nov 06, 2012". Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Palazzo defeats Taylor in 4th Congressional District primary". 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Jaffe, Alexandra (February 27, 2013). "Club for Growth targeting 9 'RINO' Republicans for primary challenges – The Hill's Ballot Box". Retrieved February 19, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "2014 General Elections". Retrieved 2015-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "H.R. 4263 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 7 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 Thomas, Rachael (17 March 2014). "Palazzo Introduces Social Media Emergency Response Bill". Fox News 25 – WXXV. Retrieved 9 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 "H.R. 4412 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 9 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "CBO – H.R. 4412". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 9 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 Marcos, Cristina (9 June 2014). "House passes NASA reauthorization". The Hill. Retrieved 10 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gene Taylor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 4th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rich Nugent
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mike Pompeo