September 2011

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liveIn the Moment While much of the state—and nation, for that matter—was focused on the Aug. 9 recall elections, Taylor quietly won her seat in the Assembly, garnering 5,549 votes compared to the 591 write-in votes cast for other candidates. district, which with Chris Taylor A Madison east-sider makes her way to the Capitol On the surface, it looks like it's business as usual at the Harmony Bar on Madison's east side: locals greet friends while others sit glued to a Brewers game on TV, occa- sionally interrupting the chatter to cheer. Yet behind the crowded mix, it's anything but your average evening for Chris Taylor. A 43-year-old mother of two, Taylor moves through the room, embracing sup- porters and friends gathered to celebrate. It's Aug. 9—election night—and as the unopposed candidate for the 48th stretches from the east side of Madison to parts of Monona and McFarland, Taylor is poised to win. It was a hard-fought victory for Taylor, who beat fi ve other Democrats in a primary race for the State Assembly seat vacated when former Assembly member Joe Parisi be- came Dane County executive. Prior to this campaign, she admits that serving in pub- lic offi ce was never in her thoughts. "I never planned my life around running for offi ce," she says. "But I think my life prepared me well for being elected." Taylor is no stranger to Wisconsin politics. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, she worked for years as an attorney and advocate before becoming public policy director at Planned Parent- hood in 2003—a post that often brought her to the State Capitol to advocate for causes close to her heart. Professional experience aside, Taylor says the most crucial factor that prepared her for this challenge has been her role at home. "A well-known elected offi cial said to me, 'Why do you think policies that impact children can be so poor in this country? It's because there were not enough women with young children making decisions. If anything, more [mothers] need to run for offi ce,'" Taylor recalls. While Taylor admits the balance between family and work might become even trick- ier now, she's grateful for this new oppor- tunity and ready for wherever it might lead. "I feel like I've already been [at the Capitol] for years," she says. "I've worked with Republicans and Democrats and I'm ready to go." September 2011 11 Photo by Amber Arnold

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