In the Republican primary for Mississippi’s fourth Congressional district earlier this week, Rep. Steven Palazzo survived a close race that nearly required a runoff. Palazzo, chairman of the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee, ended up with 50.5% of the vote in the GOP primary, just above the threshold to avoid a runoff election. He faced a strong challenge from Gene Taylor, the former representative from that district who lost to Palazzo in the 2010 general election, when Taylor was a Democrat. Taylor switched parties to challenge Palazzo in the Republican primary.
In California’s 25th Congressional district open primary, state senator Steve Knight finished a close second to fellow Republican Tony Strickland, and thus will advance to the general election in November. (Under California’s primary system, the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, go on to the general election.) Knight has been an advocate for space issues in the California Legislature, sponsoring bills to provide tax incentives and liability protections for space companies in the state. Knight has already earned the endorsement from the top Democratic finisher in the primary, Lee Rogers. The seat is open as the district’s current representative, Republican Buck McKeon, is retiring.