Two-term U.S. congressman Van Taylor, who voted to establish a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol was forced into a runoff by former Collin County judge, Keith Self. While many believed he still had a chance to keep his seat, the congressman decided to drop off the race after revealing a secret affair with Tania Joya, an ex-jihadist dubbed the “ISIS bride” by British tabloids, 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,” he wrote in an email that was sent out to a list of his supporters.
Joya had initially reached out to Suzanne Harp, another contender on Taylor’s race, who sent out a supporter to meet with Joya, next a story and a 30min phone call was published on right-wing websites such as Breitbart and National File.
Taylor was one of four Texas Republicans who failed the Trump loyalty test – rejecting Donald Trump’s claims that Democrats stole the presidential election through fraud. Attracting criticism from Republican opponents who accuse him of betraying the party.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Self and another challenger, Suzanne Harp turned the primary into a referendum of sorts on Trump’s baseless claims, attacking Taylor over his vote to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. Hoping to turn hardcore Trump supports against Taylor.
As a result of his defiance, Taylor was one of the four incumbents snubbed by Trump this election cycle, however, he is the only one who faced a serious challenge. The others sailed through the primaries: Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Humble, Tony Gonzales of San Antonio, and Chip Roy of Austin.