Van Taylor ends re-election campaign for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District

On March 2, a day after placing first in the Republican primary for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District, incumbent Van Taylor announced he was ending his re-election bid. In his announcement, Taylor admitted to an affair. Taylor was first elected in 2018.

Taylor won 48.7% of the vote in the primary, but candidates needed more than 50% to avoid a primary runoff election. He and challenger Keith Self, who received 26.5% of the vote, had been scheduled to face off in a May 24 runoff.

Candidates Suzanne Cassimatis Harp, Rickey Williams, and Jeremy Ivanovskis received 20.8%, 2.7%, and 1.3% of the vote, respectively.

In a statement, Taylor said, “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.”

According to The Texas Tribune, Taylor has until March 16 to officially withdraw from the runoff election. Self would then become the Republican nominee. Self would face Sandeep Srivastava (D), who won the Democratic primary, in the Nov. 8 general election.

The Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol was a prominent subject of disagreement in the race. Taylor was one of two Texas House Republicans—and 35 House Republicans nationwide—who voted on May 19, 2021, to establish a commission to investigate the breach. Taylor said, “there’s a lot of fault and a lot of answers we need about what Nancy Pelosi and her team knew, when they knew it and why the Capitol was not secure.”

Taylor’s opponents criticized him for voting to establish the commission. Self, a retired Collin County judge who listed border security, election integrity, and the Second Amendment as issues he would focus on in Congress, said Taylor’s vote was “the red line for many people in their vote against Van Taylor.”

Texas’ 3rd Congressional District is considered a safe Republican seat.