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North Texas GOP Congressman Van Taylor Suspends Reelection Campaign After Admitting Infidelity

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - After being forced into a runoff in the Republican primary Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Van Taylor announced Wednesday he was suspending his campaign following allegations of infidelity which he has now admitted to.

Taylor, who received 49% of the vote, was facing a primary runoff in his North Texas district by former Collin County Judge Keith Self.

Several days before Tuesday's primary election, some right-wing websites reported on an interview with Tania Joya, who said she had an affair with Taylor that lasted from October 2020 to June 2021.

Joya, of Plano, told The Dallas Morning News on Monday night that she had met the congressman through her work as an ex-jihadist helping to reprogram extremists.

Taylor apologized for the affair in a statement shared with supporters Wednesday.

It didn't mention Joya by name or reference her late husband, the Islamic State group recruiter.

Here is the email he sent to supporters:

Friend,

Today I am announcing I will not continue my campaign to seek re-election to Congress.

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. 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. Now, over the last few days I have started those same conversations with my three daughters who are the light of my life and deserve so much better.

I know the hurt does not stop there. I have let down so many other family members, friends, colleagues, supporters, and the people of the 3rd Congressional District whom I have had the great honor and privilege to represent. I am truly sorry, and I hope in time I can earn their forgiveness.

I appreciate your understanding that this is a personal matter between me and my family.

I have talked with Keith Self to let him know of my decision, and I wish him the best as he seeks to become the next congressman for this district.

Sincerely,
Van Taylor

Self responded, saying it's important to hold leaders accountable and it's appropriate to respect Taylor's decision to back out of the race.

Below is his full statement:

The United States is a great country, and one of our greatest accomplishments is our commitment to democratic elections. We debate competing ideas and we learn about our leaders' ideas and their character. We also hold them accountable. Conservatives who believe family values are the backbone of our nation are held to a high standard. Congressman Van Taylor has suspended his campaign, and it is appropriate to respect his decision.

I have been privileged to serve the communities in this Congressional District for over a decade, and I pledge to all the citizens of North Texas to serve them honorably and to the best of my ability. I want to thank the people around Texas, not just in my district, who have contacted me with expressions of support. This is a time for us all to pull together and focus on the country's challenges and opportunities.

I believe deeply that the Republican Party offers the best solutions to the many problems - from national defense to education to inflation and a long list of others - and I plan to devote my time and energy to helping fellow conservatives build public confidence and trust and win elections.

Taylor, a former Marine and Iraq war combat veteran, was considered one of the Texas delegation's most conservative members when he was elected in 2018.

But he was sharply criticized by the right wing of the party for voting to certify the 2020 election results and for supporting a Senate commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol that was never formed.

Self is an Army veteran and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. He has claimed Taylor drifted from his conservative roots in the GOP-dominant district.

He heavily criticized Taylor's votes on the election result and insurrection investigation, and Taylor vote to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol.

The runoff for U.S. House District 3 was scheduled for May 24.

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