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Mayor Taylor talks about her election loss, her legacy and her 'unorthodox' style

“I do believe that there's been some value to people turning on the news and seeing my black face as the mayor of San Antonio. That will challenge people to think outside the box as far as their expectations of minorities and women,” said Mayor Ivy Taylor. (SBG San Antonio)

“We'll probably take some road trips this summer,” said Mayor Ivy Taylor. “I definitely want to just enjoy some downtime.”

Taylor is looking at some silver linings in the wake of her loss Saturday in the runoff election. She was upset by challenger Ron Nirenberg.

Thursday I sat down with her at City Hall to talk about what might be next for her, what she thinks will be her legacy, and how she felt when she saw the results come in.

“I was surprised. Because I, again, believed I had served very well,” said Taylor about the election results. “I think that I was a very, I've been a very productive mayor and have helped the city tackle many challenging issues, maybe in an unorthodox way.”

By unorthodox, Taylor says she approached the job a little differently from politicians whose main goal is to stay in the political arena. Because of that, she says she didn't spend as much time campaigning as others might have.

“But I don't regret anything that I've done because, again, I think that I have delivered for the citizens of San Antonio in many ways,” said Taylor.

As for what she's proudest of, after five years representing District Two on the East Side, then the last three years as mayor, she says on a personal level it's living out her values and not changing as a person.

As for accomplishments on the job, “I'm, of course, ecstatic about the $850 million bond that the voters passed in May,” she said. “I'm also excited that we're able to move past the rancor and heated rhetoric with our police officers to get that contract done.”

She's also proud that two years ago the citycouncil passed a plan called ‘SA Tomorrow.’ That's the first update to the city's comprehensive plans since 1997. She also mentioned the passage of a plan to pipe water to San Antonio from central Texas and full-time pay for city council members.

“And I think that makes a big difference as far as someone being able to offer themselves as a public servant,” said Taylor.

But she didn't mention the fact she's the first African-American woman to be mayor, not only of San Antonio, but of any big city in the country.

"Well, I think that's part of the story, but that hasn't been my focus,” she responded when I asked her about it. “Though I will say it's been gratifying to be inspirational to young people.”

“I do believe that there's been some value to people turning on the news and seeing my black face as the mayor of San Antonio. That will challenge people to think outside the box as far as their expectations of minorities and women.”

As for what she'll do next?

“I've had some people reach out to me about different opportunities,” explained Taylor. “I want to spend some time with my husband [Rodney] and my daughter Morgan. She's turning 13 so it's a critical time in her life.”

“And even if I wanted to be upset, it would be hard living in a house with Rodney because he is absolutely ecstatic,” she added with a laugh. “At having his wife back and turning the page and getting out of the political spotlight. And so I could have never done all of this work if it hadn't been for his support, and so I owe him a few home cooked meals.”

Taylor also said she wanted to thank the people of San Antonio "for the opportunity that they have given me. I really believe that me serving as Mayor of San Antonio underscores the fact that anything is possible for anyone in San Antonio, if they work really hard. I appreciate the way in which the community has embraced me as someone who didn’t grow up here and I really appreciate the many thousands of people that supported me, prayed for me, and helped me in achieving many of the public policy wins that we had for this community during my three years as mayor and my five years as city council member."

Taylor won't officially leave office until next week when Ron Nirenberg is sworn in.

WATCH THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW

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