Our opinion: Thanks, Travis, and good luck, Alan

November 3, 2010 1:12:00 PM



Something as rare as a blue moon happened not once, but twice, on Tuesday night: Mississippi congressional incumbents lost their seats. 


In the 1st District, Republican Alan Nunnelee unseated Democratic U.S. Rep. Travis Childers. In the 4th, Democratic U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor of Bay St. Louis lost to Republican state lawmaker Steven Palazzo of Biloxi in a race that was too close to call Tuesday night. 


Childers and Taylor are conservative Blue Dogs. Childers had all the right endorsements, including from the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  


His and Taylor''s greatest failing was being a Democrat, period, during an election cycle that threatened incumbents in general and Democrats in particular. 


The Blue Dog is an endangered species nationwide, and we fear that their absence will only lead to a larger partisan divide and more polarization in Congress. Most Americans would consider themselves centrists, taking a bit from each side. When Republicans and Democrats lose the few congressmen able to work across the aisle and find middle ground, we all lose. 


Nunnelee has said he can work with the other party to get things accomplished. Now, he has a chance to prove himself, and show the 1st District he''s his own man. 


Now that the election is behind us, it''s time for Nunnelee to get to work to deliver for the district. We wish him well, and thank Childers for his two and a half years of service.