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District Profile from Politics in America
Mississippi's only Gulf Coast district, the 4th relies on shipbuilding, casinos, petrochemicals and government jobs to fuel the economy in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. The University of Southern Mississippi and Camp Shelby, a large military reserves training site, are in Hattiesburg. Rural areas to the north support poultry farms.
The coastal counties suffered catastrophic damage in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina displaced 100,000 residents, but populations there now surpass pre-Katrina levels. Harrison County again draws tourists to its 11 casinos, and Gulfport, the county's and district's largest city, has restored 80 downtown buildings since 2005. Tourism revenue, property values and wildlife populations along the district's coast took a hit following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Huntington Ingalls Industries' shipbuilding facility employs more than 11,000 Jackson County residents, and the district has become a hub for the U.S. aerospace industry. NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock hosts Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and federal agency facilities.
Residents here are fiscally conservative and support the GOP. In the 2008 presidential election, John McCain took 67 percent of the vote, his best showing statewide.
Military, shipbuilding, casinos, tourism
Keesler Air Force Base, 5,353 military, 1,597 civilian (2009); Naval Construction Training Center Gulfport, 4,900 military, 900 civilian; Naval Oceanographic Office, 131 military, 898 civilian (2011)
Gulfport, 67,793; Hattiesburg, 45,989
Black Creek is the state's only National Scenic River.
|2010||general||Steven Palazzo (R)||105,613||51.9%|
|Gene Taylor (D)||95,243||46.8%|
|Kenneth Hampton (LIBERT)||1,741||0.9%|
|Anna Revies (REF)||787||0.4%|
|2008||general||Gene Taylor (D)||216,542||74.5%|
|John McCay (R)||73,977||25.5%|
|2006||general||Gene Taylor (D)||110,996||79.8%|
|Randy McDonnell (R)||28,117||20.2%|
|2004||general||Gene Taylor (D)||179,979||64.2%|
|Michael Lott (R)||96,740||34.5%|
|Tracella O'Hara Hill (REF)||3,663||1.3%|
|2002||general||Gene Taylor (D)||121,742||75.2%|
|Karl Mertz (R)||34,373||21.2%|
|Wayne Parker (LIBERT)||3,311||2%|
|Thomas Huffmaster (REF)||2,442||1.5%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 32%||John McCain: 67%|
|2004||John Kerry: 31%||George W. Bush: 68%|
|2000||Al Gore: 34%||George W. Bush: 64%|