Taylor ponders leaving Senate for Murkowski job

Wrangell senator has served in Legislature for almost two decades

Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Republican Sen. Robin Taylor of Wrangell has not yet made a decision whether he will stay in the state Senate for the remainder of his term or take a job with the administration of Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Taylor said Monday he is discussing such a job change with his wife, Kaye, but would not reveal what position the administration has offered him.

Murkowski spokesman John Manly also wouldn't discuss what job the administration is offering Taylor. He said he is uncertain when a decision will be announced but guessed that it should be within the week.

"He would resign from the Senate and we would appoint someone to take his place," Manly said.

Taylor, 60, is one of 12 Republicans in the 20-member Senate. He serves as chairman of the Joint Legislative Council, which handles the Legislature's business between sessions, and vice chairman of the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee. Taylor, a lawyer, also is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Special Committee on World Trade and State/Federal Relations.

He has served nearly 20 years in the Alaska Legislature. From 1984 to 1992, Taylor served in the House of Representatives, and since 1992 he has served in the Senate. He also has sought the GOP nomination for governor and lieutenant governor.

Taylor is a former vice mayor of Ketchikan, where he also served on the Borough Assembly.

Senate President Gene Therriault, a North Pole Republican, said he has known for awhile that Taylor was considering a job with the administration, and wished him luck if he leaves the Senate.

Therriault said Taylor's depth of knowledge of the Legislature would be a significant loss in the chamber.

"He still would be within phone contact, so we could pick his brain from time to time," Therriault said.

Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at timothyi@juneauempire.com.

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