Texas GOP Rep. Van Taylor ends reelection bid and admits to affair

by · TheHill

Rep. Van Taylor (R-Texas) ended his reelection campaign on Wednesday, admitting to an extramarital affair a day after allegations of one surfaced. 

Taylor’s announcement came less than 24 hours after he was forced into a runoff election in a GOP primary against the second-place finisher, former Collin County Judge Keith Self. Taylor finished the primary in first place but captured 49 percent of the vote, short of the 50 percent needed to win the nomination outright.

In an email to supporters announcing his decision, Taylor, who is married and has three children, acknowledged his infidelity.

“About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world,” Taylor said. “I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life. I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters.”

The conservative news site Breitbart published a story on Monday — one day before the Texas primaries — detailing allegations that Taylor had paid $5,000 to a woman named Tania Joya in exchange for her silence about an extramarital affair. 

Joya has been referred to as a so-called “ISIS bride” because she had been married to an American-born member of the Islamic State group in Syria. 

According to the Texas Tribune, Taylor will have until March 16 to formally withdraw his candidacy, making Self the GOP nominee for Texas’s 3rd Congressional District. The district heavily favors Republicans, all but guaranteeing that Self will succeed Taylor in Congress.