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Navy veteran Cliff Taylor announces candidacy for newly drawn 68th Assembly District

The Chippewa Herald - 4/29/2024

Apr. 29—Ladysmith businessman and decorated Navy veteran Cliff Taylor has announced his candidacy for the newly drawn 68th Assembly District.

The 68th Assembly District covers all of Rusk and Price counties and includes portions of Chippewa and Taylor counties. The district is 69% Republican, according to a WisPolitics analysis of top-of-ticket results in 2022.

Taylor announced his candidacy for the Republican primary after long-serving Rep. James Edming, R-Glen Flora, announced his retirement. Edming served the 87th Assembly District, which covered all or portions of Marathon, Rusk, Sawyer and Taylor counties, for a decade.

In the August primary, Taylor will face Rep. Rob Summerfield, R-Bloomer, who currently represents the 67th District and was drawn into the 68th in the new legislative maps. Summerfield announced his candidacy for the 68th Assembly District earlier this month.

Taylor, 61, has never run for a state legislative position before. He served on the Rusk County Board of Supervisors for several terms.

He is running as a Republican and "describes himself as a 'Constitutional conservative' that wants to correct the course that our state and country have been moving in recent years," he said in a press release Monday.

"I served my country in the Navy — came back home and started a family and business here in northern Wisconsin. When I thought that there were some things going on in my county that needed to be addressed, I stepped up and served again at the county level," Taylor said. "Now, with the direction this state is going under Gov. (Tony) Evers and the Republican establishment, I have decided that it is time for me to step up and serve one more time."

During Taylor's time on the Rusk County Board of Supervisors, he fought for fewer regulations and for the property rights of his constituents, his release states.

"He was instrumental in saving the county significant amounts of money during budget hearings where he persistently questioned specific line items," the release says.

About his time on the county board, Taylor said: "When no one was willing to ask the tough questions, I always did because I believed there could be different ways of tackling those issues. I will bring that same energy and tenacity to Madison."

Taylor said that as a father of three and grandfather, he has "always stood for the miracle of life. As many Republicans now cower away from this issue, I will stand firm in defense of the unborn."

Taylor describes himself as an avid outdoorsman who "will defend our right to bear arms."

He says he believes the education system needs "reform" and the electoral process needs an "overhaul."

"Our government needs to regain the trust of the people, because there has been no reason to trust our state or federal government for a long time," Taylor says. "If elected to Madison, I will be an independent voice in the Legislature, not beholden to leadership. I believe that the people who elect our representatives should be in charge, and not the other way around."

Cliff, along with his wife, Kathy, founded Colonial Nursery, a nursery and landscaping business south of Ladysmith, 38 years ago.

The nursery has grown to be the largest in the area and is accompanied by the Taylor's latest venture, Heart of the North Brewing Company, which is a microbrewery attached to one of the nursery greenhouses.


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