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Bryan Taylor announces bid for Alabama chief justice

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Bryan Taylor, a former state senator and lead lawyer to two governors, announced on Wednesday he’s running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

“My experience as an attorney, Army Judge Advocate and military prosecutor, along with my service in the executive and legislative branches of state government has given me a unique perspective that will benefit Alabama’s courts and the Alabamians they serve,” Taylor said.

“What makes the chief justice position different than the other justices is the administrative side of the job – managing the court system and working with the governor’s office and the Legislature to advocate for the needs of the judicial system. I’m the candidate best prepared to do that.”

A lawyer by trade, Taylor had served as Policy director and legal counsel for Gov. Bob Riley before stepping down to run for the Senate in 2010. After leaving the Senate in 2014, Taylor worked for the Alabama Department of Finance as its general counsel, and in 2017, was hired by Gov. Kay Ivey as her chief legal counsel.

Taylor has been a major player in the Alabama Republican Party for years, having also served as deputy legal counsel for legislative affairs.

He surprised his Republican colleagues in 2019 after unexpectedly qualifying at the last minute for the Supreme Court Republican primary election, running to represent Place 2. Taylor later said that he had filed to run as a “placeholder,” giving him the option to run should he ultimately choose to do so.

While Taylor ultimately decided not to run in 2020, he’s jumping into the race for real this time, arguing that he is uniquely qualified for the position.

“I have a conservative judicial philosophy, (and) I believe that judges should follow the law as written and not legislate from the bench,” Taylor said. 

“We cannot allow the judicial system to be weaponized to advance a political agenda. When pro-life activists, parents at school board meetings, or religious groups exercising their rights become targets of judicial activism, people lose faith in our courts. I will make sure that the rule of law is followed, and that justice is applied fairly in Alabama.”

Given his sway with the Republican Party in the state, Taylor has already secured support, including from John Wahl, chairman of the Alabama GOP.

“Bryan Taylor has served the Alabama Republican Party with distinction, and we are grateful for his time with the Alabama GOP,” Wahl said. 

“As legislative counsel, his advice has been invaluable to help the Party defend the people of Alabama and the conservative values we hold as Republicans. I wish Bryan the best of luck in all his future pursuits.”

Taylor is running to succeed Chief Justice Tom Parker, who by law, cannot run for re-election. Taylor will face off against Supreme Court Justice Sarah Stewart, who announced her bid for chief justice in January, with the GOP primary  March 5, 2024, and the general election on Nov. 5.

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