After receiving less than 48 percent of the vote in Tuesday night’s Republican primary election, U.S. Rep. Van Taylor (TX-3) has declined to enter the runoff election, handing the nomination to former Collin County Judge Keith Self.
Taylor had faced significant competition amid criticism of his voting record. While in Congress, Taylor was one of 71 Republicans who voted with Democrats to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol—just days after Texas Republicans had made preserving historical monuments a legislative priority.
Then in May of last year, Taylor was one of two Texas Republicans who voted with Democrats to create a bipartisan January 6 commission proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Though that independent commission failed to get approval in the Senate, Taylor defended his vote, upsetting even some of his most loyal constituents.
But it was the revelation over the weekend of an extramarital affair, along with screenshots of a graphic text message released online, that worked to push Taylor below the 50 percent threshold on Election Day.
In an email on Wednesday afternoon to supporters, Taylor admitted to the affair and announced his decision to leave the race:
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.
With Taylor removing himself from the runoff ballot, Keith Self will become the Republican nominee. Self will face Democrat Sandeep Srivastava and Libertarian Christopher Claytor in the November 8 general election.