Who is Karrin Taylor Robson? Unwrapping the enigma that could be Arizona’s next governor

Taylor Robson began this race with a huge identity gap./Gage Skidmore

Opinion: We’ve seen her campaign ads, but do we really know Karrin Taylor Robson? How her background shaped her campaign for Arizona governor.

By Phil Boas | Arizona Republic

Karrin Taylor Robson has been a mover and shaker in Arizona for virtually all of her adult life. As a land-use attorney, developer, corporate executive and member of the Board of Regents, she has worn many hats and has pitched in with others to work on issues critical to the state.

Arizona policymakers and business leaders all know who Karrin Taylor Robson is. But she remains much of an unknown to the person on the street.

Her leading opponent has been a staple of Arizona TV news for two decades. Broadcast news journalist Kari Lake enjoys enormous name recognition because she has had almost daily contact with Arizonans via the airwaves.

Thus, Taylor Robson began this race with a huge identity gap.

To address that deficit, she tapped into her one big advantages in this race – the financial wherewithal to buy airtime and fill Valley TV screens with her campaign ads.

A campaign ad can only go so far, however, in filling out a life story, so she remains an enigma to much of Arizona.

Karrin Taylor Robson is an Arizonan to her core

In a way, that’s surprising because she is to her very core an Arizonan, the scion of a political family that has been in the news a lot over the last four decades.

They are a family that believes foremost in old American values of hard work, prudence and thrift.

When she says her mother was a conservationist, she means she hung her wash on the clothesline to avoid using the dryer, cutting down on energy costs and saving a few pennies.

Dueling campaigns:Pence backs Taylor Robson as Trump backs Lake

Her mother, Kathryn Frances Ryan, was a child of Omaha, Neb., who grew up with conservative values in a Democrat household. She met and married Carl Kunasek in Omaha and in 1962 the family moved to Mesa, Ariz.

It didn’t take long for now Kathryn Frances Kunasek to convert to Arizona conservatism. She read Barry Goldwater’s “Conscience of a Conservative” and was hooked. Soon she registered as a Republican.


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