Blog: Among Kirkpatrick campaign's donors, a Md. square-dance caller

2012-10-24T13:48:00Z 2012-10-24T15:24:37Z Blog: Among Kirkpatrick campaign's donors, a Md. square-dance callerTim Steller, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 24, 2012 1:48 pm  • 

Congressional candidate Ann Kirkpatrick's most recent financial filing is replete with donations from those you might expect: lawyers, doctors, Sedona business owners.

But amid the long list, filed Oct. 15, one woman stands out. 

Betsy Taylor, 71, of Silver Spring, Md. lists her occupation as "square dance caller."

Indeed, reached by phone today, Taylor said she calls square dances Monday nights and Thursday mornings. She also picks up irregular gigs like the recent one for a group of home-schooled children and has a club called the Taylor Made Squares.

She serves as president of the National Capital Area Square Dance Leaders Association. Here's some of Taylor's work at last year's Montgomery County, Md. holiday parade:

Taylor gave Kirkpatrick's campaign $50 on Sept. 12, 19 and 28, the candidate's filing says. That means her $150 was responsible for about 0.05 percent of the $326,294 in individual contributions the Democrat's campaign received between Aug. 9 and Sept. 30.

How did a square-dance caller living near Washington, D.C. get interested in an Arizona congressional campaign? It turns out Taylor's motivation is more usual than her occupation. And no, it doesn't involve Kirkpatrick as a student when she was in Congress from 2009 to 2011.

Taylor cares a lot about abortion rights and follows Emily's List, a group that works to elect pro-choice Democratic women. For years she's been giving money to candidates on the list and happened to pick Kirkpatrick among her beneficiaries this year.

Kirkpatrick is running against Republican Jonathan Paton in Congressional District 1, a 55,000-square-mile district that includes Marana, Oro Valley and most of Pinal County. No word yet on what Paton's campaign is doing to lure back the East Coast square-dance caller sector.

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