Taylor: Focusing on family, won’t rule out future runs
Ryan Taylor certainly hasn’t ruled out a return to politics, but for now, the gubernatorial candidate who represented District 7 as a state senator for 10 years is returning to his pre-election devotions – family and ranching.
Taylor, a Democrat who ranches south of Towner, will also continue to write and champion many of the political issues that he highlighted during his campaign for governor.
While he said it was “an honor to represent a district for 10 years that looked beyond party labels,” Taylor is looking forward to a return to family life after spending virtually all of the past year campaigning.
“After a campaign, there’s a part of you that just wants to hunker down,” he said.
He said the Taylor Ranch was run by a family friend while the campaign was ongoing, and there will be no shortage of work to do to get his family business back running at full steam.
Still, Taylor believes “the most important things are intact,” with the gubernatorial election now behind him.
“At the end of this deal, I still wanted to have a strong marriage and not be a stranger to our kids,” Taylor said. “I think we accomplished that.”
Taylor has no immediate plans to return to government, and said any plans to return in the future would be met with strong consideration of a number of issues, especially family.
That doesn’t mean he is planning on standing on the sidelines as an observer.
“We want to be involved in making the progress you need, whether it’s a neighborhood or the entire state,” he said.
Although he doesn’t have interest in lobbying, Taylor said he plans on employing more of a personal advocacy and encouraging people to be more civically involved.
“I don’t see myself being a lobbyist, but there are issues that were important to me in the campaign and they won’t stop being important.”
Although he was soundly defeated by incumbent Governor Jack Dalyrmple, Taylor said winning the areas he represented in the legislature was important.
“As tough as this election was, it meant a lot to carry McHenry, Pierce and Benson counties,” Taylor said. “It goes to show relationships with people matter. We’re all neighbors. That seems to go past the politics of the day.”
Raising money was one of the most challenging parts of running his first statewide campaign.
“One of the biggest differences is the money involved,” he said. “That was the most difficult part. As a person of modest means, to ask friends and family to help.
Dalrymple raised about four times what Taylor did “in much bigger chunks from much fewer people,” Taylor said.
While he understands the amount of financial resources needed to run a major campaign, Taylor believes most of a candidate’s time should be spent on the issues surrounding the office being sought.
“It’s amazing how much time is consumed by that as opposed to developing policy and putting forward ideas and solutions,” he said. “I think we did a good job of running a campaign that was ideas-based and solutions-oriented.”
He was inspired by the dozens of volunteers and people he met on the campaign trail.
“The people we did have were genuinely committed and enthusiastic,” he said. “It was heartwarming and humbling to know people believe in you that much.”
With the notable exception of the U.S. Senate race, Democrats didn’t fare well in statewide elections last month.
Taylor admits “there is some building to be done,” within his party, but said he thinks some of the ideas Democrats campaigned on will find their way into public policy.
With a new book of his “Cowboy Logic” columns just recently released, Taylor said he is going to continue to write as he mulls over what his political future will hold.
“I think I left the legislature with good relationships on both sides of the aisle,” he said. “If I can help anyone navigate the legislative process, I will.”
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