Elections

Big Bird, Disney characters get votes in South Mississippi primary

JIM COLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS 
 A person dressed up as Big Bird holds a sign against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney outside the Romney headquarters in 2012 in Derry, N.H.
JIM COLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS A person dressed up as Big Bird holds a sign against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney outside the Romney headquarters in 2012 in Derry, N.H. AP

GULFPORT -- Rep. Steven Palazzo's biggest menace showed up among the write-ins in the Republican primary in the 4th Congressional District.

Barack Obama got at least one vote in the uncontested primary for Congress in the hundreds of ballots examined by the Sun Herald on Tuesday at the Harrison County Election Commission in Gulfport.

Palazzo has spent the last few years lambasting Obama at every turn, going as far as introducing a resolution to censure the president. Tuesday, one voter took note and sent the third-term congressman a message.

Voters had many messages, apparently. Several people marked the write-in oval on their ballots but left the line for the write-in blank. Mickey Mouse got a write-in. So did his pal Donald Duck.

There were a lot of common names, suggesting some voters thought they'd be a better choice than Palazzo. One even had a middle name that has the initials M.F. We won't embarrass the person by printing the first and last names and will leave it up to the reader to decipher what the two middle names might be.

Mayors and former mayors might want to consider a run for higher office. Former Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel was a voter's choice in a Long Beach precinct. Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott was a write-in at a Pass precinct.

The same precinct had a write-in for Tavish Kelly, who ran against Palazzo in 2014 and hinted he was urging folks to send Palazzo a message this time even though the Republican congressman has no opposition until the November general election when he'll face Democrat Mark Gladney, Libertarian Richard Blake McCluskey and perennial candidate Shawn O'Hara.

One message was crystal clear. Term Limits got a write-in. But not all messages were. Big Bird and Barney Fife got votes. And there was one for John Doe. Probably not the singer for X but if Jello Biafra got a vote in Jackson County, who knows.

Anyone Else got a at least three; Anybody Else and Anybody, two each. Anyone but Palazzo received one.

And Gene Taylor, the former congressman Palazzo beat in 2010 and 2014, got dozens.

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