A few days ago, Rep. Van Taylor appeared to be in good shape in the eyes of the public. His “red” congressional district in Texas had some primary challengers, but it was widely assumed that the Texas Republican would overcome and be re-elected easily.
An NRA endorsement, support from prominent Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz, and investment from the Congressional Leadership Fund in Taylor’s favor were just some of the factors that contributed to the GOP incumbent’s overwhelming advantage in the race.
He received nearly 49% of the vote in the primary, putting him in a position to face off in a runoff election, which he would almost certainly win. The Republican governor of Texas had good cause to be upbeat about his chances in office.
His career, on the other hand, imploded yesterday afternoon. According to NBC News:
In the wake of his admission to an extramarital affair, Texas Republican Rep. Van Taylor withdrew his re-election bid on Wednesday. In an email to his supporters, Taylor announced, “Today I am announcing that I will not continue my campaign to seek re-election to Congress.”
“I am sorry for the anguish I have caused, especially to my wife, Anne, and our three girls, as a result of my indiscretion.”
Even while Taylor isn’t the first member of Congress to fall victim to a sexual misconduct scandal, the specifics of this one are a little worse than the rest. According to NBC News:
Tania Joya, a Plano woman dubbed the “ISIS bride” by newspapers because of her previous marriage to an American who joined the Islamic State terrorist group, had allegedly had an affair with Taylor before he resigned. In an interview with Breitbart News, Joya said that Taylor bribed her to stay quiet about the affair.
At this point, some Democrats may be tempted to laugh a little at Taylor’s misfortune. The conservative Republican who wrecked his own career shouldn’t be taken seriously. It may appear as if some level of schadenfreude is an inevitability.
Instead of feeling sorry for the Republican congressman, I urge you to avoid thinking along these lines since his successor will be even worse.
The idea that Taylor is a Republican moderate on Capitol Hill would be a big exaggeration. In fact, he’s not. About 90% of the time, the Texans sided with Trump’s White House, and 10% of the time, he sided with Vice President Biden’s White House.
Because many Texas Republicans didn’t think Taylor was conservative enough, he faced two primary challengers. That’s not all: In fact, the Republican incumbent voted to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in January of last year and months later, supported the creation of an independent panel on January 6.
In light of these votes, the right decision to take the congressman to task for not being a true Trump supporter. Former President George H. W. Bush endorsed over two dozen candidates in Texas’ primaries this week, but he chose to remain neutral in Taylor’s contest.
The congressman’s seat will now be held by a primary challenger who is even more conservative than the incumbent.
It’s not necessarily a good thing that Taylor’s career is over, even for his Democratic opponents.