Runoff Election Required Days After Allegations Of Bribes Involving “ISIS Bride”

( During last week’s primary in Texas, the scandal-plagued incumbent Republican Congressman Van Taylor failed to secure 50 percent of the vote in Texas District 3, forcing a runoff election between him and challenger Keith Self. But one day later, Taylor announced he was withdrawing from the race entirely over the “ISIS Bride” scandal that broke just before the primary.

It was reported that Taylor had recently been involved in an affair with UK native Tania Joya, the so-called “ISIS Bride” of John Georgelas, an American who joined ISIS in 2013.

According to reports, the married father of three met Joya through her work deprogramming extremists that she began after returning to the US from Syria. In no time, Taylor and the ISIS Bride were exchanging graphic “sexting” messages and eventually began an intimate relationship that lasted about eight months.

Toward the end of their affair, Joya had asked Taylor to help her pay off some of her debts. Taylor offered to give her $5,000 on the condition she agreed to keep her mouth shut about the affair.

The exposé was orchestrated by one of Taylor’s primary challengers, Republican Suzanne Harp, who was contacted by Joya before the election. Harp sent a supporter to interview Joya and the scandal came to light.

Initially, Taylor was leading his primary challengers with 51.8 percent. But by the end of Tuesday’s primary, Taylor garnered just 48.7 percent of the vote, with Keith Self in second place with 26.5 percent, and Suzanne Harp in third place with 20.8 percent.

Since no candidate secured 50 percent of the vote, the top-two vote-getters, Taylor and Self, were to face off again in the May run-off election.

But on Wednesday, the humiliated two-term congressman chose to drop out of the run-off.

In an email to supporters, Taylor admitted his “horrible mistake,” calling it “the greatest failure of my life.” He apologized to his wife Anne and their three daughters for the pain he caused “with my indiscretion.”

Taylor’s exit from the runoff means the second-place Keith Self, a former Collin County judge, is now the Republican congressional candidate for Texas District 3.

Van Taylor is expected to serve the remainder of his current term.