Veteran Philadelphia Republican state Rep. John Taylor has decided not to seek re-election next year.
When he finishes his current term in January, Taylor will have served 34 years in the Pennsylvania Legislature, a noteworthy accomplishment for a Republican in overwhelmingly Democratic Philadelphia.
Taylor built a reputation as a moderate, working with Democrats on city issues as the Legislature came to be dominated by the GOP.
City Republican Chairman Michael Meehan said Taylor was critical in getting funding for the Pennsylvania Convention Center and its expansion, as well as new stadiums for the Phillies and Eagles.
“It’s really Philadelphia’s loss as much as Republicans,” Meehan said in a phone interview. “He’s been a leader up in Harrisburg for 30 years.”
When the Philadelphia’s GOP was beset by warring factions in 2013, the party tapped Taylor’s calming presence and made him chairman for three years to reconcile the groups.
Taylor is one of only two Republicans in the city’s Harrisburg delegation.
The party will have to work hard to keep his Northeast Philadelphia seat next year, given that most of the district’s voters are Democrats.
Taylor, 62, told the Inquirer’s Chris Brennan it was the right time to be closer to home.
“It sounds like a cliché, but spending time with family is a thing. They sacrifice enough,” Taylor said. “I’d just love to see some gap between my legislative career and death.”