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Ryan Taylor

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Ryan Taylor
North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture
Former Candidate
Minority Leader, North Dakota State Senate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected2002
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
North Dakota State Senate District 7
Bachelor'sNorth Dakota State University
Campaign website
Ryan Taylor was a Democratic candidate for North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture in the 2014 elections.[1] Ryan Taylor lost the general election on November 4, 2014.

Taylor is a former Democratic member of the North Dakota State Senate, representing District 7 from 2002 to 2012. He served as Minority Leader. He ran for Governor of North Dakota in the 2012 elections.

Taylor is a Rancher/Columnist/Territory Manager for Fort Dodge Animal Health.

Taylor earned his B.S. in Agricultural Economics/Mass Communications from North Dakota State University.

Committee assignments

Taylor serves as Minority Leader in the 2011-2012 session. He is not listed on any committees.


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Taylor served on these committees:



See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Taylor ran for election to the office of North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture. Taylor won the Democratic nomination in the unopposed primary on June 10. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


General election
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Goehring Incumbent 57% 139,597
     Democratic Ryan Taylor 42.9% 105,094
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 377
Total Votes 245,068
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

Race background

The North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture also serves as a member on the state's three-member Industrial Commission. This commission, among many duties, regulates North Dakota's oil and gas industry.[2] The race for agriculture commissioner took on a heightened profile due to candidate disagreements over how to deal with the rush to extract oil and gas from the Bakken shale.

The incumbent, Republican Doug Goehring, expressed support for an accelerated rate of oil extraction, opposing legislation that might slow down the growth of drilling.[3] In a speech at the state Republican convention, he implied support for a balanced approach, saying that "the ties between agriculture and energy have never been more important that they are today," but the North Dakota Farm Bureau endorsed his primary challenger, Judy Estenson.[4] Estenson, who was running to reform the office following allegations of mismanagement and harassment, lost the state GOP endorsement and dropped out of the race.[4][5]

The Democratic challenger, Ryan Taylor, expressed concern about the consequences of the oil rush. He said, "You can’t unleash all that oil and then wonder why the train tracks are full of oil tankers and you can’t get grain on from the elevators in North Dakota and get that product to market."[6] Taylor advocated for greater weight on agricultural considerations; he was described as "the man who’s going to bring balance to the Industrial Commission."[6]

Campaign finance

Campaign finance disclosures filed by early October showed Goehring with $339,000 in contributions compared to $285,000 for Taylor.[7]

Issues background: Fracking
Oil production in North Dakota.png
See also: Fracking in North Dakota

Since oil was first struck in 1951 in North Dakota, over 13,000 wells have been drilled. The graph to the right shows how oil production has soared in the state, growing from 45.14 million barrels of oil in 2007, to 313.8 million barrels in 2013. This growth has brought both opportunities and challenges for the state. A study for the American Petroleum Institute estimated that 12 percent of state employment, and 13.1 percent of labor income in 2011, was due to the oil and gas industry.

The growth of the industry has also brought challenges, however, as large numbers of people have moved to the area seeking employment. This migration has increased the demand for housing, as well as police, fire and other government services. Additionally, concerns have been raised over the potential environmental impacts of such a large-scale boom. While fracking has been used for decades in the United States, there are concerns over the ability of regulators to enforce environmental protections consistently.[8][9][10][11]


See also: North Dakota gubernatorial election, 2012

Taylor was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2012. His running mate was Ellen Chaffee. In the general election in November, they faced Republican incumbents Jack Dalrymple & Drew Wrigley and two pairs of independent nominees, Roland Riemers & Anthony Johns and Paul Sorum & Michael Coachman.[12][13] They were defeated by incumbents Dalrymple and Wrigley.[13]

Governor/Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJack Dalrymple & Drew Wrigley Incumbent 63.1% 200,525
     Democratic Ryan Taylor & Ellen Chaffee 34.3% 109,048
     independent Paul Sorum & Michael Coachman 1.7% 5,356
     independent Roland Riemers & Anthony Johns 0.8% 2,618
Total Votes 317,547
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.


See also: North Dakota State Senate elections, 2010

Taylor won re-election to the North Dakota State Senate District 7, defeating Craig Wollenburg (R).[14][15]

Taylor was unopposed in the primary election on June 8, 2010.[16]

North Dakota Senate General Election, District 7 (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Ryan Taylor (D) 3,376 60.39%
Craig Wollenburg (R) 2,210 39.53%


On November 7, 2006, Taylor was re-elected to the 7th District Seat in the North Dakota State Senate, besting Dick Anderson (R).[17] Taylor raised $4,325 for his campaign, while Anderson raised $3,350.[18]

North Dakota Senate, District 7 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Ryan Taylor (D) 3,715
Dick Anderson (R) 1,947

Campaign donors


Taylor & Chaffee lost the election to the position of North Dakota Governor/Lieutenant Governor in 2012. During that election cycle, Taylor & Chaffee raised a total of $651,284.


In 2010, Taylor received $14,778 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[19]

North Dakota State Senate 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Ryan Taylor's campaign in 2010
North Dakota Senate Democratic-NPL Caucus$3,250
DAK PAC$3,000
Boilermakers Local 647$1,400
North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party$1,000
Total Raised in 2010 $14,778


In 2006, Taylor collected $4,325 in donations.[20] These were the largest contributors.

Donor Amount
DAK PAC $500


NDPC: North Dakota Legislative Review

See also: North Dakota Policy Council: North Dakota Legislative Review

The North Dakota Policy Council, a North Dakota-based nonprofit research organization which describes itself as "liberty-based", published the North Dakota Legislative Review, a comprehensive report on how state legislators voted during the 2011 legislative session. The scorecard seeks to show how North Dakota legislators voted on the principles the Council seeks to promote. The Council recorded and scored votes on both spending bills and policy bills, and awarded points accordingly. Policy issues voted upon included income tax cuts, pension reform, and government transparency. On spending legislation, the Council accorded a percentage score based on how much spending the legislator voted against. On policy legislation, scores range from the highest score (100%) to the lowest (0%). A higher score indicates that the legislator voted more in favor of the values supported by the Council.[21] Taylor received a score of 33.33% on policy legislation and voted against 1.84% of state spending. On policy, Taylor was ranked 42nd and on spending was ranked 43rd, out of 46 Senate members evaluated for the study.[22]


Taylor and his wife Nikki have one child.

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Farm and Ranch Guide, "Ryan Taylor outlines ag priorities," March 17, 2014
  2. North Dakota Industrial Commission, "About," April 10, 2014
  3. Ag Week, "ND ‘extraordinary places’ policy approved, but comment process will apply only to public land," April 10, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bismarck Tribune, "N.D. GOP endorses incumbent for ag post," April 10, 2014 (dead link)
  5., "Future of ND oil boom could hinge on ag commission race," April 10, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Taylor for North Dakota, "Jamestown Sun: Taylor calls for balance with oil in bid," April 10, 2014
  7. NewsOK, "ND agriculture commissioner contest more about oil," October 12, 2014
  8. North Dakota Energy Forum, "North Dakota Oil and Gas History," accessed July 25, 2014
  9. North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, "North Dakota Annual Oil Production," accessed October 15, 2014
  10. PricewaterhouseCooper LLP, "Economic Impacts of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry on the US Economy 2011," July 2013
  11. Stanford Law School Student Journals, "Local Government Fracking Regulations: A Colorado Case Study," January 2014
  12. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Unofficial results, primary election," accessed June 12, 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 Bismark Tribune, "General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  14. North Dakota Secretary of State, "2010 General Election Results," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. North Dakota candidate list
  16. 2010 North Dakota Primary Election Results
  17. North Dakota Secretary of State, "2006 General election results," accessed May 13, 2014
  18. Follow the Money, "North Dakota Senate spending, 2006," accessed May 13, 2014
  19. Follow the Money, "2010 contributions," accessed December 23, 2013
  20. Follow the Money, "2006 Campaign contributions," accessed May 13, 2014
  21. North Dakota Policy Council, "The North Dakota Legislative Review - 2011," accessed January 20, 2014
  22. North Dakota Policy Council "2011 North Dakota Legislative Review Rankings," accessed January 26, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
North Dakota State Senate District 7
Succeeded by
Nicole Poolman (R)