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 44)
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]
Unit 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company
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.

Palazzao faces a rematch with Taylor in the June 2014 Republican primary election. Taylor switched parties in a bid to return to his former House seat.[3]

Palazzo will also face off with new contender Tavish Kelly; a law student, small business owner, and the former chairman of the Pearl River County Republican Party.[4]

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Palazzo was born February 21, 1970 in Gulfport.[5] 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 is a Certified Public Accountant.

Mississippi House of Representatives[edit]


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%.[6] In 2007, running unopposed, he was elected to a full term.[7]


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.[8]

Committee assignments[edit]

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.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



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.[10] He was endorsed by Sarah Palin and in the November 2010 general election, Palazzo defeated Taylor 52%-47%.[11]


In the Republican primary, he defeated two challengers with 74% of the vote.[12] In the November election, he defeated Democratic candidate Matthew Moore 64%-29%.[13]


Rep. Palazzo voted with his Republican colleagues to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood.[citation needed]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

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.


External links[edit]

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
Alan Nunnelee
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mike Pompeo