With the North Dakota gubernatorial campaign over, you might think Democratic challenger Ryan Taylor would be done with all of the hand-shaking and smiling he’d been doing for nearly a year.
Taylor, seemingly as fresh as a flower on Nov. 16, was busy at the Holiday Showcase at his booth in the Fargo Civic Center, offering his “hot-off-the-presses” book, “Cowboy Logic Family Style” – another from the columns he’s syndicated in Agweek and six other publications. The non-partisan column appears in other publications, including Capital Press in Salem, Ore., Western Producer in Saskatoon, Sask., the Cattle Business Weekly in Philip, Farm and Ranch News in Boise, Idaho, and the Nebraska Fencepost in Ogallala, Neb.
“We got done with the election, and stayed home and let our whiskers grow for a couple of days, and now we’re back at the Pride of Dakota shows. It’s the same kind of deal, we see a lot of people and still see our supporters, actually,” says Taylor, who ranches with his wife and three children at Towner, N.D.
“But now we’re trying to replace that income we gave up for the last year while we were out campaigning. I announced in late December, and have a good friend of the family – him and his wife – came out to help us on the ranch, worked for us. So yeah, we gave up almost a year’s income. I’m still doing the cattle work but they put up all the hay for us.
“We drove up and down the road, I put the gas in the car. It was worth the doing – no regrets at all, it was a good journey. But everything has to come to an end and now it’s back to everything that was always important – family.”
Taylor says the unsuccessful race itself was a “steep hill to climb,” but that his support was enthusiastic. “The folks that came out for us that knew us were really great,” he says. “That made it all worthwhile.”
Taylor continued writing his columns through the campaign, although sometimes publication content handlers allowed him to bend the deadlines a bit. “I sat down and did that high-pressure thing,” he says.
The Showcase circuit started Nov. 10, in Minot, just a few short days after the election. “I tell people, I don’t know how we lost this thing because everybody says they voted for us,” Taylor says. Then he flashes that signature grin, beneath that big brim, as if to say, I’ll be just fine, thank you.