Ex-GOP congressman who lost amid voter fraud scandal will run again

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Former Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) had been seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, but will apparently now run for his old House seat.

Former Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) lost his first reelection race in 2018 after his campaign was caught in a ballot-signature fraud scandal, will apparently try again in 2020. He had previously been running for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Five months after announcing his Senate bid, Taylor will reportedly switch races and seek his party's nomination to run against Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria. Luria defeated him 51% to 48.8% in the 2018 midterm elections.

While his website and Twitter pages continued to list Taylor as a Senate candidate on Monday morning, he retweeted a link to the Hill's reporting on his decision to switch races.

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But Taylor's scandals may continue to haunt him. After coming under fire for repeated failure to pay his local — a spokesman claimed in 2018 he had gotten "busy" and it had "slipped his mind" — the Virginian-Pilot reported in July that he had again failed to pay his Norfolk property taxes on multiple properties on time.

More notably, his 2018 reelection campaign worked to get a candidate on the ballot as an independent spoiler, to siphon votes away from Luria in the general election. But that candidate was kicked off the ballot by a judge who found an "out-and-out fraud" on her ballot petitions, which included the names of multiple dead voters. A special prosecutor was appointed to examine allegations that Taylor's campaign team forged those and other signatures, and in May, he issued two election fraud indictments against one former Taylor staffer.

Taylor has claimed he was aware of the shady scheme to get the spoiler on the ballot but not the signature fraud. He denied knowledge of wrongdoing and severed ties with a consultant and staff implicated in the scheme following the allegations. While he was not charged, the special prosecutor described his 2018 defeat as "poetic justice."

In an emailed statement, Taylor's campaign manager claimed there has been "an outpouring of calls and requests that he reconsider his decision" not to run against Luria. While not confirming or denying that Taylor has decided to run for the House seat, she said he "shares the expressed concern that the VA-02 is not being properly represented in Washington." Her signature line still identified the campaign as "Scott Taylor for Senate."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.