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Virginia’s Scott Taylor drops Senate bid for House rematch

Taylor says Rep. Elaine Luria’s impeachment vote was ‘the last straw’

Former Rep. Scott Taylor is seeking a comeback in Virginia’s 2nd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Former Rep. Scott Taylor is seeking a comeback in Virginia’s 2nd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Scott Taylor, who lost Virginia’s 2nd District in the 2018 midterms, is now running for his old House seat, dropping his challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner

“We’re going to take the seat back,” the Republican said Monday morning on local television station WAVY

The former Navy SEAL is hoping to take on freshman Democrat Elaine Luria, who defeated him by 2 points in 2018. President Donald Trump carried the Norfolk-area district by 3 points in 2016. 

Taylor, whose 2018 campaign was caught up in a signature-forgery scandal, said 2020 will be different since the president will be on the ballot, and he and Luria now both have congressional records. He pointed to Luria’s support for impeachment, accusing her of using her military background to justify that position. 

“The last straw for me was impeachment,” Taylor said. 

Luria, a retired Navy commander, was one of seven freshman Democrats with national security backgrounds who came out in support of opening an impeachment inquiry in a September op-ed in The Washington Post. She voted for both articles of impeachment against Trump in December.

A special prosecutor has been investigating allegations that Taylor’s campaign staff approved forged signatures to try to get an independent candidate on the ballot in 2018 to take votes away from Luria. The prosecutor indicted one of Taylor’s former staffers last year, and a trial is scheduled for February. 

“I would tell you that I’m an imperfect person,” Taylor said Monday. “I’ve made bad decisions before, just like anyone else. But I learned my lessons.”

Donald S. Caldwell, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, said Monday that the investigation is ongoing and that Taylor has cooperated. 

“There is no evidence at this point in time that suggests that he participated in an attempt to willfully violate the election laws of Virginia,” Caldwell said.  

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race for Virginia’s 2nd District as Leans Democratic

Stephanie Akin contributed to this report.

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