VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Former Republican Congressman Scott Taylor has announced that he is running to win back his old U.S. House seat for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
The announcement comes months after the former Navy SEAL initially said he was planning to run against U.S. Senator Mark Warner.
“We are announcing today that I am going to be back in the race. We are going to take the seat back,” and with that, Taylor announced he is abandoning his campaign for U.S. Senate and is running for his old seat.
Taylor, who had represented the district since 2017, lost to Democratic challenger Elaine Luria in 2018. She won with 51.1% of the vote to Taylor’s 48.9%, aided in part by voter animosity toward President Donald Trump and a voter fraud case that plagued the Taylor campaign.
The Donald Trump Impeachment is the reason why according to Taylor,
Taylor has voiced concerns about Luria voting to impeach President Trump.
“The impeachment is the big issue. It is disgraceful [Luria] using her military background to justify an empty impeachment, which has taken away from the needs of the district and the country,” he said.
Democrats flipped both the House of Delegates and State Senate in the November 2019 election, and many Republicans and Democrats believe Trump’s unpopularity in key areas of the commonwealth contributed to that.
Donald Trump won the 2nd District by 3.4 points in 2016.
Taylor says he’s also concerned about the issue of gun reform playing out in Virginia. He recently addressed crowds outside of Virginia Beach City Hall as gun rights supporters advocated to make the city a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”
Virginia’s 60-day General Assembly session starts Wednesday, and Democrats have proposed stricter gun laws, particularly in response to last year’s May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Virginia’s largest city makes up a large portion of the 2nd District.
Before he has a chance to face off with Luria, Taylor would have to defeat another Navy veteran in Ben Loyola to win the Republican primary. Loyola announced he was running back in November.
In response to Taylor’s announcement, Luria released a statement Monday afternoon.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a spirited debate among Ben Loyola, Jarome Bell, Andy Baan, and Scott Taylor in the Republican primary,” her statement reads.
A Taylor staffer faces two charges of election fraud for allegedly forging signatures to get another Democrat on the ballot to dilute the democratic vote to favor Taylor, who is a Republican.
It backfired for Taylor and may have contributed to his election loss, but Taylor insists he knew nothing about the forging and has not been charged.
Taylor used the word “exonerated,” which WAVY asked him what he meant by.
“The guy running the investigation says there is zero evidence about anything [involving me in knowing about the forging of signatures]. If I were in trouble, then I would be in trouble,” Taylor claimed.
WAVY also asked Taylor what he would say to voters to get them to give him a second shot.
“I would say I am an imperfect person, and I have made bad decisions before, just like anybody else, but I learned my lessons and I’m someone who learns my lessons. I can’t promise victory in this campaign, but I can absolutely promise we will be deserving,” he said.