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Texas Congressman Drops Re-election Bid After Long-Term Affair with 'ISIS Bride' Discovered

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A Texas representative accused of being a “Republican in Name Only” has abandoned his bid for re-election after details of his grisly affair came to light.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Rep. Van Taylor sent an email to supporters on Wednesday apologizing for his actions and announcing the end of his campaign.

“About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world,” Taylort said. “I had an affair, it was wrong and it was the greatest failure of my life.”

Taylor was headed for a run-off against fellow Republican Keith Self after no candidate was able to secure 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary for Texas’ Third Congressional District.

However, Taylor’s announcement would concede the run-off to Self, assuming he officially submits his withdrawal from the race in writing.

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According to The Guardian, the affair was between Taylor and Plano, Texas, resident Tania Joya. Joya became infamously known as the “ISIS bride” after she married John Georgelas, a Texas-born convert to the Islamic State.

“John played an essential part in establishing the caliphate and was a leading propagandist for Islamic State, helping to groom other westerners,” she told The Guardian in a September 2020 interview.

Joya said her husband took her and their children to Syria, but she eventually left him. She said she later “found out that he had died, most likely during U.S. bombing in 2017.”

After her husband died, Joya became an advocate for retraining former political extremists. She told the Morning News it was through that work that she first met Taylor.

Should this end Taylor's political career?

The two began an extramarital affair in October 2020, and it lasted until June 2021.

According to the Morning News, Joya contacted a third Republican candidate, Suzanne Harp, two days before Tuesday’s primary and told her about the affair.

“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?’” Joya said. “But it didn’t happen like that.”

Instead, Harp sent a supporter to interview Joya, and that interview was subsequently published on Sunday by National File. The interview contained extremely graphic details of the affair.

Even amid news of the scandal, Taylor received 48.7 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary, The New York Times reported. Keith Self earned 26.5 percent, and Suzanne Harp received 20.8 percent.

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Under Texas law, when no candidate earns over 50 percent of the vote, the election goes to a runoff between the two candidates with the highest percentage of the votes. With Taylor out of the race, Self would automatically become the nominee.

Trump-supporting Republicans grew frustrated with Taylor after he became one of five Texas Republicans who voted to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. His two Republican opponents frequently reminded voters of Taylor’s vote throughout the campaign. The Defeating Communism PAC even created a website called RinoReckoning.org dedicated to ousting Taylor from his House seat.

Ultimately, it was news of the affair that took Taylor down.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.




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