VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Former Congressman Scott Taylor plans to run for his old congressional seat. He made the announcement on the John Fredericks Radio Show on Monday morning, but talked with News 3 about his decision as well.
“I’m an imperfect guy, but I have a record of accomplishment in fighting for the community,” he said.
Taylor’s announcement sets up a potential rematch in the second congressional district, where he was ousted in 2018 by Democrat Elaine Luria. Taylor acknowledges a scandal over his campaign’s efforts to get a third party candidate on the ballot contributed to his loss. A campaign staffer was indicted for election fraud.
“I have to claim responsibility for failures in my own judgment and my campaign last time. We can’t promise victory this time, but we can promise a campaign that’s worthy of that,” he said.
Taylor previously had said he planned to run for U.S. Senate, but changes his plans by running for the House seat in Congress instead. He admits it may be politically easier to re-win his old seat as opposed to potentially challenging Mark Warner. “It would be dishonest to say no,” he said when asked how those political calculations factored into his decision.
In addition, Taylor says voters in the district have been asking him to run again and says Luria’s vote for impeachment was also a major factor. “Saying it’s a constitutional duty to impeach the president and using a military uniform to do that – I think it’s disgraceful,” he said. “That was the last straw.” Taylor said he would not have voted in favor of impeachment.
He now wants to compare his record to Luria’s and believes he accomplished more than her. “We’re going to show those two records side-by-side. There’s a demonstrable difference.”
The second district is considered a purple district – one that favored President Trump in 2016, but is now represented by a Democrat in Congress.
Taylor said he would welcome President Trump to come campaign with him in the district. “Of course, I would want him here. He’s the President of the United States. Why would I not?”
FEC filings show three other Republican candidates have registered to run. They include Ben Loyola, Andy Baan, and Jarome Bell. Republican voters will decide which candidate to nominate during a primary in June.
In response to Taylor’s announcement, Rep. Luria said, “I’m looking forward to seeing a spirited debate among Ben Loyola, Jarome Bell, Andy Baan, and Scott Taylor in the Republican primary.”