After 11 terms in the House, Rep. Gene Taylor has lost his bid to be re-elected to the Mississippi District 4 seat. His was one of a number of defeats that will reshape the membership of key Committees.
Republican Steven Palazzo defeated Taylor, a conservative Democrat, by 52 percent to 47 percent in unofficial results Tuesday night, the Sun Herald reported this morning.
Taylor lost his seat as part of a national trend that saw Democrats lose control of the House. His eleven terms brought with a seniority that placed him well to defend shipbuilding interests as Chairman of the key Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. He is also Co-Chairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.
Taylor is also a member of the Transportation and Infrastucture -- another important panel that will look a lot different in the new Congress.
Not only will it be controlled by Republicans, but a lot of familiar Democratic faces will be missing - most noticeably Chairman James Oberstar (Minn.) who lost his re-election bid. Other Democrats on the committee who fell to Republican challengers include, besides Gene Taylor,Michael A. Arcuri (N.Y.), John A. Boccieri (Ohio), Christopher P. Carney (Pa.), John J. Hall (N.Y.), Phil Hare (Ill.), Steve Kagen (Wisc.), Betsy Markey (Colo.), Michael E. McMahon (N.Y.), Harry E. Mitchell (Ariz.), Solomon P. Ortiz (Texas), Thomas S.P. Perriello (Va.), Mark H. Schauer (Mich.), Harry Teague (N.M.) and Dina Titus (Nev.). Democrat Brian Baird of Washington did not run. His House seat was won by Republican Jaime Herrera.
The key Transportation subcommittee of interest to MarineLog readers is the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation subcommittee. Rep. Oberstar was a member of the panel by virtue of his chairmanship of the parent committee. Other panel members who lost their reelection fight were its Vice Chairman, Michael McMahon and Gene Taylor and Steve Kagen,
Transportation Committee rank member John Mica (Fla.) won reelection as did Coast Guard subcommittee ranking member Frank LoBiondo (N.J.). While Rep. Mica is widely tipped to take over the Chairmanship of the Committee, Rep. LoBiondo will have enough seniority in the next Congress that he may well set his sights higher than the Coast Guard panel.
Elijah E. Cummings, Md, will presumably now move from the Chair of the Coast Guard panel to the ranking member slot. He leaves a legacy of giving the Coast Guard rather more oversight than some predessors did. It will be interesting to see if this "tough love" approach continues.
Nov. 5, 2010