Mississippi's 4th congressional district

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Mississippi's 4th congressional district
Mississippi US Congressional District 4 (since 2013).tif
Mississippi's 4th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Current Representative Steven Palazzo (RBiloxi)
Area 9,536 sq mi (24,700 km2)
  • 53.72% urban
  • 46.28% rural
Population (2000) 711,219
Median income 33,023
Cook PVI R+21[1]

Mississippi's 4th congressional district covers the southeastern region of the state. It includes all of Mississippi's Gulf Coast, stretching ninety miles between the Alabama border to the east and the Louisiana border to the west, and extends north into the Pine Belt region. It includes three of Mississippi's four most heavily populated cities: Gulfport, Biloxi, and Hattiesburg. Other major cities within the district include Bay St. Louis, Laurel, and Pascagoula.[2]

The people of the Mississippi's 4th are currently represented by Republican Steven Palazzo. During the 111th Congress, MS-4, along with Texas's 17th congressional district, was the most Republican district in the nation to be represented by a Democrat,[3] with a Cook PVI of R+20. However, on November 2, 2010, the Democratic incumbents of both districts were defeated by their respective Republican challengers. State Representative Steven Palazzo defeated Rep. Gene Taylor by a 5% vote differential.[4]

From statehood to the election of 1846, Mississippi elected representatives at-large statewide on a general ticket.


Three of Mississippi's four most heavily populated cities, Gulfport, Biloxi, Hattiesburg are in the Fourth District. Other major cities within the district include Bay St. Louis, Laurel, and Pascagoula.


Since 2013 the entire counties of Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, George, Marion, Lamar, Forrest, Perry, Greene, Jones, and Wayne, along with the southeastern part of Clarke are counted in this district.

Federal highways[edit]

Interstate 59 is an important north-south route that traverses the district, while coastal Interstate 10 serves as the major east-west route from New Orleans to Mobile. US Highway 49 is a vital hurricane evacuation route and is four-laned from Gulfport to Jackson. US Highway 84 enters the state near Waynesboro and is four-laned statewide, passing through Laurel, Brookhaven and Natchez.


Prior to 2003, the district included most of Jackson, all of Natchez and the southwestern part of the state. In 2003, after Mississippi lost a seat in redistricting, the old 4th District was eliminated. Most of Jackson, as well as the bulk of the district's black constituents, were drawn into the 2nd District, while most of Jackson's suburbs were drawn into the 3rd District. As a result, most of the old 5th District was redefined as the new 4th District.[5]

The perimeter of the current Fourth District extends across the ninety-mile coastal southern edge of Mississippi from the Louisiana border to the Alabama border, following the Alabama state line north along the eastern border of the state to a point due east of Quitman in Clarke County where it is bounded by the 3rd District and then moves in an irregular fashion south of Quitman until it reaches the county line with Wayne County, and then follows the northern and western borders to wholly contain Jones, Forrest, Lamar, and Marion counties until it reaches the Louisiana state line, ultimately bounded by the Pearl River winding to its outlet in Lake Borgne.


The Fourth District, like most of Mississippi, is built on a strong history of agriculture.

List of representatives[edit]

Representative Took Office Left Office Party Notes Congress
District created March 4, 1847
Hon. Brown - NARA - 528693.jpg Albert G. Brown March 4, 1847 March 3, 1853 Democratic 30th - 32nd
No image.svg Wiley Pope Harris March 4, 1853 March 3, 1855 Democratic 33rd
No image.svg William Augustus Lake March 4, 1855 March 3, 1857 Know Nothing 34th
Othosingleton.jpg Otho Robards Singleton March 4, 1857 January 12, 1861 Democratic Withdrew 35th - 36th
Civil War and Reconstruction 36th - 41st
GeorgeCMcKee.jpg George Colin McKee March 4, 1869 March 3, 1873 Republican Redistricted to the 5th district 41st - 42nd
Attala County Memories - Picture of Judge Niles.jpg Jason Niles March 4, 1873 March 3, 1875 Republican 43rd
Othosingleton.jpg Otho Robards Singleton March 4, 1875 March 3, 1883 Democratic Redistricted to the 5th district 44th - 47th
Hernando Money - Brady-Handy.jpg Hernando D. Money March 4, 1883 March 3, 1885 Democratic Redistricted from the 3rd district 48th
No image.svg Frederick G. Barry March 4, 1885 March 3, 1889 Democratic 49th - 50th
No image.svg Clarke Lewis March 4, 1889 March 3, 1893 Democratic 51st - 52nd
Hernando Money - Brady-Handy.jpg Hernando D. Money March 4, 1893 March 3, 1897 Democratic 53rd - 54th
No image.svg Andrew F. Fox March 4, 1897 March 3, 1903 Democratic 55th - 57th
No image.svg Wilson S. Hill March 4, 1903 March 3, 1909 Democratic 58th - 60th
ThomasUSisson.jpg Thomas U. Sisson March 4, 1909 March 3, 1923 Democratic 61st - 67th
No image.svg T. Jeff Busby March 4, 1923 January 3, 1935 Democratic 68th - 73rd
No image.svg Aaron L. Ford January 3, 1935 January 3, 1943 Democratic 74th - 77th
Thomas G. Abernethy cph.3c32239u.jpg Thomas G. Abernethy January 3, 1943 January 3, 1953 Democratic Redistricted to the 1st district 78th - 82nd
Governor John Bell Williams, Jan. 16, 1968 to Jan. 18, 1972 (14122979895).jpg John B. Williams January 3, 1953 January 3, 1963 Democratic Redistricted from the 7th district, Redistricted to the 3rd district 83rd - 87th
W. Arthur Winstead.jpg W. Arthur Winstead January 3, 1963 January 3, 1965 Democratic Redistricted from the 5th district 88th
Prentiss Walker.jpg Prentiss Walker January 3, 1965 January 3, 1967 Republican 89th
Sonnyvmontgomery.jpg Sonny Montgomery January 3, 1967 January 3, 1973 Democratic Redistricted to the 3rd district 90th - 92nd
Thad Cochran 1977 Congressional photo.jpg Thad Cochran January 3, 1973 December 26, 1978 Republican Resigned after being elected US Senate, took seat on early appointment 93rd - 95th
Jon Hinson.jpg Jon Hinson January 3, 1979 April 13, 1981 Republican Resigned 96th - 97th
Wayne Dowdy.png Wayne Dowdy July 7, 1981 January 3, 1989 Democratic 97th - 100th
Michael Parker.jpg Mike Parker January 3, 1989 November 10, 1995 Democratic 101st - 103rd
November 10, 1995 January 3, 1999 Republican 104th - 105th
Ronnie Shows bioguide.jpg Ronnie Shows January 3, 1999 January 3, 2003 Democratic 106th - 107th
Gene Taylor, official portrait, 111th Congress.jpg Gene Taylor January 3, 2003 January 3, 2011 Democratic Redistricted from the 5th district, lost reelection in 2010 108th - 111th
Steven Palazzo, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Steven Palazzo January 3, 2011 Present Republican Incumbent 112th -



2010 Fourth Congressional District of Mississippi Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Steven Palazzo 105,613 51.93 +26.47
Democratic Gene Taylor 95,243 46.83 -27.45
Libertarian Tim Hampton 1,741 0.86 +0.86
Mississippi Reform Party Anna Revies 787 0.39 +0.39
Turnout 203,384
Majority 9,480 4.84


2006 Fourth Congressional District of Mississippi Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Gene Taylor 74.54 -5.25
Republican John McCay 25.46 +5.25
Majority 49.08


Fourth District incumbent Gene Taylor (D) was re-elected, gathering 80% of the Fourth District's vote. He is considered one of the most conservative Democrats in the House [1]. His district has a Cook Political Report rating of R+16.

Taylor faced challenger Randall "Randy" McDonnell, a former IRS agent. McDonnell, the Republican Party nominee, had also unsuccessfully challenged Taylor in both 1998 and 2000.

Taylor first was elected in 1989 to Mississippi's 5th congressional district, after having lost to Larkin I. Smith in the 1988 race for that open seat, which had been vacated by Trent Lott when Lott made a successful run for the Senate. Smith died eight months later in a plane crash. Taylor came in first in the special election primary to fill the seat, winning the runoff election two weeks later and taking office on October 18, 1989.

In 1990, Taylor won a full term in the 5th District with 81% of the vote, and has been reelected at each election since.

His district was renumbered the 4th after the redistricting of 2000, which cost Mississippi a Congressional seat. In 2004, Taylor was reelected to the House with 64% of their vote, choosing him over both Republican nominee Michael Lott and Reform nominee Tracella Hill.

2006 Fourth Congressional District of Mississippi Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Gene Taylor 110,996 79.79 +15.02
Republican Randall "Randy" McDonnell 28,117 20.21 -14.29
Turnout 139,113
Majority 82,879 59.58


2004 Fourth Congressional District of Mississippi Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Gene Taylor 181,614 64.77 -10.44
Republican Mike Lott 96,740 34.50 +13.26
Mississippi Reform Party Tracella Hill 2,028 0.72 -0.79
Turnout 280,382
Majority 84,874 30.27


2002 Fourth Congressional District of Mississippi Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Gene Taylor 121,742 75.21 -
Republican Dr. Karl Cleveland Mertz 34,373 21.24 -
Libertarian Wayne L. Parker 3,311 2.05 -
Mississippi Reform Party Thomas R. Huffmaster 2,442 1.51 -
Turnout 161,868
Majority 87,369 53.98

Historical district boundaries[edit]

2003 - 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ "About South Mississippi | U.S. House of Representatives". palazzo.house.gov. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  3. ^ http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=197
  4. ^ 2010 Mississippi Election Results New York Times. November 12, 2010.
  5. ^ Almanac of American Politics, 2002, p. 872

Coordinates: 30°59′37″N 89°05′02″W / 30.99361°N 89.08389°W / 30.99361; -89.08389