Texas Rep. Van Taylor drops re-election bid a day after primary over affair with ‘ISIS bride’

by · New York Post

A married-with-kids Texas congressman abruptly dropped his bid for re-election Wednesday after admitting he had an affair with a woman who has been described as an ex-jihadist “ISIS bride.”

Republican Rep. Van Taylor, 49, was headed for a GOP runoff with Keith Self following Tuesday’s primary election for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District when he sent an email to supporters announcing he was dropping out, giving Self the nomination.

“Today I am announcing I will not continue my campaign to seek re-election to Congress,” Taylor wrote in the email, according to the Dallas Morning News

“About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. 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,” he wrote.

Just before Tuesday’s primary, the conservative news outlet National File revealed Taylor’s affair with British native Tania Joya — the widow of John Georgelas, an American who joined ISIS in 2013. 

Texas Rep. Van Taylor has decided to drop his re-election bid after it was revealed that he had an affair with an “ISIS bride.”

Joya, 38, claimed she and Taylor, a Marine vet, were “very close” after meeting through her work helping to reprogram extremists that she started after returning to the US from Syria, the Dallas Morning News reported.

She told the news site that the pair started sexting with each other and an intimate, physical relationship soon followed that lasted about eight months. 

Taylor reportedly had the affair with Tania Joya, whose ex-husband joined ISIS in 2013.

A purported text message written by Taylor and shared with National File allegedly shows the elected official graphically describing sex acts he wanted to do with Joya. 

Toward the end of their affair, Joya asked Taylor for help paying off some bills and she claimed he agreed and gave her $5,000, but only if she kept her mouth shut. The alleged hush money was first reported by Breitbart News.

“I needed help. I was like, just help me out because that’s the least — the very least — he could do,” she told the outlet.

“For him, it was like, ‘OK, on the condition you don’t tell anyone.’ … I didn’t want to tell anybody anything.”

The exposé was orchestrated by GOP candidate Suzanne Harp, who was contacted by Joya in hopes she could help her confront Taylor privately and persuade him to ditch his campaign and resign from Congress, the outlet reported. 

Harp, an outspoken critic of Taylor, decided to send a supporter to interview Joya about the affair and audio of the discussion was then published by National File. The story was later picked up by Breitbart. 

Joya told the outlet she didn’t intend for the story to blow up in the way it did and was simply irked at having to see Taylor’s smiling face plastered on billboards throughout Plano, where she lives. 

Taylor is married with three children.

“All I wanted was for Suzanne Harp to just say, ‘Hey, I know your little scandal with Tania Joya. Would you like to resign before we embarrass you?’ But it didn’t happen like that,” Joya said. 

Once news broke of Taylor’s affair, his share of the primary votes plunged to 45.2 percent following an earlier lead of 51.8 percent — which would have been enough to secure the nomination.

Since neither got more 50 percent of the vote, Taylor was forced into a runoff with Self, a former Collin County judge, who ended up with 26.5 percent of the vote — and, after Taylor suspended his campaign, the nomination.

Taylor’s decision came a day after the Republican primary election in Texas.

The two-term congressman is expected to serve out the remainder of his term and publicly apologized to his family in his email to supporters. 

“I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters,” Taylor wrote. 

“For months, Anne and I have been working to repair the scars left by my actions. I am unworthy, but eternally thankful for her love and forgiveness.”