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Biloxi councilman challenging US Rep. Palazzo in GOP primary

A Republican city official says he will try to unseat one of Mississippi’s Republican members of Congress.

Biloxi City Councilman Robert Deming is filing papers Thursday to challenge U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo in south Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Palazzo filed qualifying papers Wednesday.

Friday is the deadline for candidates to file qualifying papers to run for one U.S. Senate seat and four U.S. House seats in Mississippi. Party primaries are March 10.

Palazzo was a state House member when he unseated Democratic U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor in 2010. Palazzo, 49, is a military veteran and often praises President Donald Trump. In a statement Wednesday, Palazzo said he is grateful to represent people in south Mississippi.

“I would be honored to once again earn their vote and continue our fight to protect those conservative values we hold dear,” Palazzo said. “My priorities remain strengthening the military, bringing more jobs to our state and securing our borders. We are on the right track with President Trump in office.”

Deming said in an interview Wednesday that Palazzo is too passive and is not helping Trump. He also said Palazzo has supported increasing the federal budget.

“We just don’t have anyone who is leading on any issues,” Deming said of Palazzo. “We have no voice there.”

Deming, 43, is an attorney. He was first elected to the Biloxi council in 2013.

Palazzo had nearly $257,000 in his campaign fund at the end of September, according to his most recent finance report filed with the Federal Election Committee.

Deming said he is putting $50,000 into his own campaign. He said he has not started raising money but has received pledges from potential donors.

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