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US Rep. Van Taylor drops Texas reelection bid, admits affair with woman linked to ISIS

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Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 14:40:49-05

DALLAS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Van Taylor of Texas is ending his reelection campaign and has admitted having an affair following reports that he had been in a relationship with the widow of an American-born recruiter for the Islamic State group.

"About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world," Taylor wrote in an email to supporters, according to The Texas Tribune. "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."

The North Texas congressman’s announcement came the day after former Collin County Judge Keith Self forced Taylor into a Republican primary runoff.

Several days before the election, some right-wing websites reported on an interview with Tania Joya, who had said she had an affair with Taylor that lasted from October 2020 to June 2021.

Joya, of Plano, Texas, told The Dallas Morning News on Monday night that she had met the congressman through her work as an ex-jihadist helping to reprogram extremists.

Taylor has been in Congress since 2019.