Tuesday, March 1, 2011

LDS Candidate Treg Taylor Running For Seat D Of The Anchorage, Alaska School Board In The Anchorage 2011 Municipal Election

Update April 6th: Treg Taylor finished a strong second behind Gretchen Guess in this race; the results of the April 5th election are available HERE.

One of the candidates for Seat D of the Anchorage School Board in the upcoming April 5th municipal election in Anchorage, Alaska is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to his Facebook page, Treg Taylor identifies as a Mormon. Taylor's official campaign website is available HERE.

Two more media links specific to this race now available:

-- "Seven jockey for two School Board seats", Anchorage Daily News, March 26th 2011
-- "School Board Seat D candidates answer questions", Anchorage Daily News, March 25th 2011

Taylor is one of four candidates in the Seat D race. He is 34 years old, married, and identifies as a conservative Republican. Taylor grew up in Utah, graduating from Alta High School and obtaining his juris doctorate from Brigham Young University. He was also educated in political science and psychology at BYU, and engineering at the Air Force Academy. He is currently employed as an attorney by McKinley Capital Management. Unlike Assembly seats, School Board seats are city-wide.

Treg Taylor's three major priorities will be to focus on the basics, live within a budget, and promote personal responsibility. Taylor is also concerned about the fact that the Anchorage School District has added over 1,000 support staff during the past 10 years despite a relatively static student population. While the mandates of No Child Left Behind may have necessitated some increase, it certainly didn't require 1,000 additional staffers merely to administer the program. In addition, Taylor also questions why the school district’s budget has doubled during the past ten years even though academic performance has remained flat and only recently have graduation rates begun to rise. And finally, he's concerned about construction cost inflation; Taylor notes that Clark Middle School cost the School District $65.4 million to build even though Reed Construction Data estimated the cost of building the school at $18-20 million using union labor; that’s a $45 million difference.

Here's the full list of candidates in the Seat D race, from the Official Election Notice and also from Alaska Pride 2.0, with links to the campaign websites where applicable:

School Board, Seat D
(1). Gretchen Guess (former state legislator)
------ Official campaign website HERE
------ Facebook page HERE
(2). Roman Romanovski
------ Facebook page reference to him HERE.
(3). David Nees
------ Facebook page HERE
------ Holdover ADN Candidate Profile from 2010 HERE
------ Holdover response to AEA 2010 Candidate Survey HERE
(4). Treg Taylor
------ Official campaign website HERE (under construction)
------ Facebook page HERE

Analysis: Gretchen Guess is undoubtedly the favorite in this race, primarily because of her past service in both houses of the Alaska State Legislature. She understands how to campaign, and tends to be a moderate Democrat. David Nees ran unsuccessfully for a school board seat during the April 2010 municipal election, finishing fourth in a field of four with only 7.88 percent of the vote. As for Roman Romanovski, his only visible campaign activity so far is involvement in Spenardians Against Fluoridation; that issue is unlikely to catapult him to victory.

So this means there's a good opportunity for Treg Taylor to become the primary challenger to Gretchen Guess. Taylor provides a clear cut conservative alternative, similar to that provided in the Seat C race by Bob Griffin. Since the rest of the field has not identified as conservative, Taylor will likely have all the conservative vote to himself. On the other hand, neither Nees nor Romanovski are likely to pull significant votes from Guess, so Guess remains the favorite. But Taylor brings some powerful mainstream academic credentials to the table; had he gotten his campaign off to an earlier start, he could have taken down Guess. Still, the election is by no means over yet.

But if voters want a genuinely conservative alternative to the statists currently sitting on the Anchorage School Board, Treg Taylor's the man.


David said...

Interesting post, so are you discounting Treg because he is Mormon?

Jack Mormon said...

No, of course not. As a matter of fact, I'm not discounting him at all. But Gretchen Guess does have a huge edge on name recognition and political experience.