For the past 24 hours, politics in Texas' 3rd District (North Dallas) has been rocked by the sensational announcement of Republican Rep. Van Taylor that he is stepping down following the revelation he had an 8-month extramarital affair with an ex-jihadist known as the "ISIS bride."
Taylor's demise is also heartening to supporters of former President Donald Trump, many of whom never forgave the congressman for voting to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6.
"About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world," an email from Taylor said. "I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life."
The decision by the former Marine, Harvard graduate, businessman, husband and father of three came after he nearly won outright the Republican primary nomination to a third term Tuesday.
As word spread of Taylor's affair with Tania Joya — widow of John Georelas, who joined ISIS in 2013, moved to Syria and changed his name to Yahya Abu Hassan, taking his wife and three children with him — following a report in Breitbart News on the day before the voting, the incumbent drew 45.2% of the Republican primary vote and was thus forced into a May runoff with runner-up (26.5%) and former Collin County Judge Keith Self.
With Taylor now removing himself from the runoff ballot, Self's nomination in a district which has been firmly in Republican hands since 1968 is assured.
Self had campaigned against Taylor as someone who "went Washington" and "lost his way."
He specifically slammed the congressman for his vote on a commission last year to investigate the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6. The commission never became law, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did successfully push creation of the current select committee now investigating January 6.
Taylor voted against that committee, but his earlier vote was attacked by Self and third-place finisher (20.8%) Suzanne Harp as evidence he was not fully supportive of Trump.
"Keith Self is a great conservative and will be far better than Van Taylor," former State GOP Chairman and longtime conservative activist Tom Pauken, who ran for the same district in a 1991 special election, told Newsmax.
"Probably anyone is an upgrade to someone who was stupid enough to have an affair with a Jihadist," another veteran Lone Star State conservative, Austin attorney Howard Hickman, said, "Self is a bit of an unknown, but is probably all right."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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