Anchorage attorney Treg Taylor is joining the Assembly race in South Anchorage and former TV reporter Joy Bunde is dropping out in a last-minute shuffle among conservative candidates for an open seat in the April 5 municipal election.
Taylor, who ran for the Anchorage School Board in 2011 but lost to Gretchen Guess, filed paperwork with the Alaska Public Offices Commission last week that allows him to start accepting campaign contributions. He said Thursday his decision to run came after another candidate, Joe Riggs, dropped out last month.
Taylor described himself as a fiscal conservative who supports limited government.
"At this time, where the price of oil is where it's at, and the economy not turning as quick as we'd like, we need more people like that on the Assembly," Taylor said.
In a phone interview Thursday, Bunde, who only filed for office last week, said she is withdrawing her bid. She had also described herself as a fiscal conservative candidate.
Bunde said while she was approached by a group of Republicans about running, the same group recently asked her to back out and support Taylor.
"Gracefully, I'm going to withdraw and put my support behind Treg," Bunde said.
Taylor works as in-house legal counsel for ASRC Energy Services, a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corp. that provides consulting and contracting services.
Taylor was born in Calgary, Alberta, and grew up in Iowa and Utah. While attending law school at Brigham Young University, Taylor met his wife Jodi, who is originally from Anchorage. The couple moved to Anchorage in 2004 after graduating from law school, Taylor said.
Taylor said he decided to run for school board in 2011 because three of his five children are in the Anchorage school system, with the other two entering it in a few years. He said he's pursuing the Assembly seat because he and his wife hope "some of them will make Anchorage their home."
At this point, the South Anchorage race is shaping up as a three-way battle between Taylor, John Weddleton, a business owner and longtime neighborhood activist, and Mark Schimscheimer, a property manager and developer.