U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is re-elected, says ‘We want everybody’s quality of life to improve.’

Republican Steven Palazzo secured his fifth term as U.S. representative for Mississippi’s 4th congressional district, fending off a challenge from Jeramey Anderson, a young Democrat from Moss Point who serves as a state representative.

Palazzo was declared the winner with 14,073 votes, or 69 percent, to 6,092 votes, or 30 percent for Anderson with 17 percent of precincts reporting. Reform Party member Lajena Sheets trailed with 1 percent of the vote.

Palazzo was celebrating at a watch party at Tailgaters in Biloxi. He told the Sun Herald that voters appreciate his strong support for the military and the jobs it means for South Mississippi.

He said ships are being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula and military planes are staying at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. But he also said he tries to be mindful of all his constituents in the 14-county district.

“We want everybody’s quality of life to improve,” Palazzo said. “Everybody’s.”

Palazzo, a former state legislator, was elected to the U..S. House in 2010 using the campaign slogan “Fire Pelosi” in his upset defeat of longtime Democratic incumbent Gene Taylor.

A member of the Mississippi Army National Guard and a Marine, Palazzo has emphasized his support of the military in a district that relies on military spending for jobs and to support the economy.

Palazzo also has said he is building seniority to give Mississippi a stronger voice in Congress. He is now a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which decides on federal spending.

Anderson was only 21 when he became the youngest lawmaker in state history. Now 26, he has campaigned for making health care “a right, not a privilege,” and for a “welcoming” Mississippi.

Palazzo opposes government involvement in health care, although he said he does want to protect those with pre-existing conditions.

The Associated Press reported that Palazzo out-raised and outspent Anderson, pulling in $700,000 between the beginning of the year and Sept. 30, compared to Anderson’s $131,000.

Related stories from Biloxi Sun Herald