Gene Taylor Switches Parties

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Jackson, Miss. A longtime Democratic congressman who lost his south Mississippi seat in 2010 is entering the Republican primary in hopes of regaining the seat.

Gene Taylor arrived in Jackson Friday to file qualifying papers for the 4th Congressional District election. The primary is June 3.

The 4th District incumbent is Republican Steven Palazzo, who defeated Taylor in 2010.

Taylor says that despite his new party label, he's the same person he has always been. He says Washington is too divided and he wants to change that.

Palazzo issued a brief statement saying: "It took 25 years for my former Democrat opponent to make it into a Republican primary, and I welcome him to it."

Taylor says that when people request help, he never asks their party affiliation.

Taylor was first elected to the U.S. House in 1989 after having served in the state Senate. He was a conservative Blue Dog Democrat who often went against his party leadership in Washington.