Mark Taylor (politician)

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Mark Taylor
Marktaylorpic.jpg
10th Lieutenant Governor of Georgia
In office
January 11, 1999 – January 8, 2007
Governor Roy Barnes
Sonny Perdue
Preceded by Pierre Howard
Succeeded by Casey Cagle
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 12th district
In office
May 1987 – January 1999
Preceded by Al Holloway
Succeeded by Mike von Bremen
Personal details
Born (1957-05-07) May 7, 1957 (age 57)
Albany, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sacha Taylor
Alma mater Emory University
University of Georgia

Mark Fletcher Taylor (born May 7, 1957) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. He served two terms between 1999 to 2007 as the tenth Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Taylor was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia in the 2006 general election, losing to Republican incumbent Sonny Perdue.

Biography[edit]

Taylor was born on May 7, 1957, in Albany, Georgia. He is a graduate of Deerfield-Windsor Preparatory School in Albany. Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Emory University and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia. At Emory, Taylor joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Taylor represented Albany in the Georgia Senate until his election as lieutenant governor in 1998.

Taylor is married to the former Sacha Wilbanks of Lavonia, Georgia. Taylor has one adult son, Fletcher. Taylor is a member of the Porterfield United Methodist Church in Albany.

State Senate experience[edit]

During the administration of Governor Joe Frank Harris, Taylor was elected to the Georgia Senate. He won a special election on May 3, 1987 and succeeded to Democratic incumbent Al Holloway as the State Senator representing the 12th district, which encompasses the city of Albany and Dougherty County. He won re-election in 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1996.[1]

Taylor became floor leader under Harris' successor, Zell Miller. In that role, he marshalled bipartisan support for Miller's HOPE Scholarship program in 1993. Taylor also worked to help create the Peachcare program, which provides health care assistance to uninsured children of poor families.

During the early 1990s, Taylor made crime reduction a major priority. He secured passage of the "Victim's Bill of Rights" as well as the "Two Strikes" law, at the time the strictest anti-violent crime measure in the country. Taylor also successfully advocated for Georgia's first DNA database, which has now solved more than 300 previously unsolved crimes.

As Lieutenant Governor[edit]

Taylor declined running for re-election as a state senator in 1998 to pursue a run for the office of Lieutenant Governor. He defeated Republican candidate Mitch Skandalakis and took office on January 11, 1999. He won re-election in 2002 over Republican nominee Steve Stancil and was sworn-in for a second term on January 13, 2003.

He continued his efforts to reduce crime by successfully working to remove the statute of limitations on violent crimes such as rape and aggravated child molestation. Taylor also promoted a child endangerment law and legislation allowing judges to add an electronic monitoring device to the sentences of individuals convicted of crimes against children.

Taylor strongly opposed recent cuts in the Peachcare and HOPE scholarship programs. Recently, Taylor also successfully worked to promote the HEROES Act, which provides financial assistance to Georgia members of the National Guard. He worked to ensure equitable women's health insurance coverage and made the Georgia RX program a priority, which would provide access to affordable prescription drug coverage for the elderly and uninsured Georgians at no cost to taxpayers[citation needed]. He worked with state EMS officials and hospitals to implement a statewide trauma network.

Taylor improved the Defense of Scouting bill to insure constitutional protections were to extended all charitable youth organizations in Georgia.

Taylor focused on education by supporting increases in teachers' salaries and fighting for smaller class sizes in grades K-3.

Taylor is an honorary chairman of Put Help in the Helmet, an organization that provides relief to all First Responders affected by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita, including fire, rescue, law enforcement officers, nurses, and Emergency Medical Service professionals.

Gubernatorial candidacy[edit]

In 2005, Taylor announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the office of Governor of Georgia, and officially announced his candidacy on April 18, 2006. He built his campaign around his record on education and health care issues, which he felt that incumbent Republican Sonny Perdue had not adequately addressed. Taylor was opposed by Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox and two other minor candidates in the Democratic primary election on July 18, 2006. Taylor garnered approximately 52 percent of the vote in the primary election, gaining him the right to oppose Governor Perdue in the 2006 Georgia gubernatorial election.

In the general election Perdue defeated Taylor, 57.94% to 38.22%.

Wikipedia controversy[edit]

On April 26, 2006, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a paragraph based on opposition research had been inserted into the Wikipedia article on Mark Taylor about the 2005 arrest of Taylor's son on charges of driving under the influence, causing an accident in which a passenger in his car was killed. According to the Associated Press, Internet entrepreneur and Wikipedia co-founder and de facto leader Jimmy Wales told reporters that the edit had been traced back to an IP registered to the Cox campaign, but said he had no way of knowing who made the change. After the story broke, Cox denied any knowledge of the alleged actions and said she had instructed her staff to not make the incident an issue. Her campaign manager, Morton Brilliant, resigned shortly thereafter.[2][3]

Career since 2006[edit]

Taylor is Chief Executive Officer of the Fred Taylor Company, an Albany transportation and warehousing firm, as well as several of its subsidiaries.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles S. Bullock, III, The Georgia Political Almanach, The General Assembly 1993–94
  2. ^ Taylor’s son was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) after crashing his car on August 18, 2005 in Charleston, South Carolina, killing his passenger. Salzer, James (April 26, 2006). "Cox's campaign manager resigning". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on April 28, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2006.  Shipp, Bill (August 23, 2005). "Son's car wreck could change Mark Taylor's political future". OnlineAthens. Retrieved April 26, 2006.  Associated Press. "Georgia lieutenant governor's son was driver in fatal S.C. crash". The State. Retrieved April 26, 2006. 
  3. ^ "A False Ad in Georgia" http://www.factcheck.org/article399.html
  4. ^ MarkTaylor.com, Biography, Mark Taylor, accessed January 25, 2013

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Georgia Senate
Preceded by
Al Holloway
Member of the Georgia State
from the 12th district

1987–1999
Succeeded by
Mike von Bremen
Political offices
Preceded by
Pierre Howard
Lieutenant Governor of Georgia
1999–2007
Succeeded by
Casey Cagle