A Texas congressman announced on Wednesday that he would no longer run for re-election after revealing that he had an affair with a woman characterized as an ex-jihadist “ISIS bride.”
Rep. Van Taylor, 49, who is married and has three children, told his supporters in an email that he was dropping out of the race because of a “horrible mistake,” apparently referencing the affair.
“Today I am announcing I will not continue my campaign to seek re-election to Congress. About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life,” Taylor stated in the email, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters,” he continued. “For months, Anne and I have been working to repair the scars left by my actions. I am unworthy, but eternally thankful for her love and forgiveness.”
The news of Taylor’s affair was first reported by National File, which published an exclusive interview with the alleged mistress and “ISIS bride” on Sunday.
National File reported that Tania Georgelas – also known as Tania Joya, according to The New York Post — was formerly the wife of John Georgelas, an American-born member of ISIS. John Georgelas forced Tania and their children to relocate to Syria in 2013, but after a few weeks living in the battle-scarred nation, John agreed to let his wife and children leave. John was later killed in 2017.
After returning to the United States, Tania committed herself to counter-extremism efforts, which is when she first met Congressman Taylor. After a meeting on a program called “Preventing Violent Extremism,” Taylor and Georgelas exchanged cell phone numbers.
Georgelas admitted to initiating the affair, which she said lasted from October 2020 until June 2021. Over the nine months, the pair exchanged what National File described as “extremely graphic” messages and had an intimate sexual relationship.
According to Georgelas, Taylor also offered her large sums of money on several occasions, including $600,000 to buy a home through an investment firm.
Rep. Taylor was preparing for a GOP runoff against Keith Self after Tuesday’s primary election for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District when he announced he was dropping out of the race, handing Self the nomination.