How did ‘ISIS bride’ Tania Joya become embroiled in a Texas election?
Texas Congressman Van Taylor dropped his bid for re-election Wednesday night after revealing that he had an affair with Joya. The 49-year-old man, married with three children, said that the affair lasted nine months and apologized to his family and supporters.
Rep. Van Taylor was locked in a runoff election in Texas for his congressional seat, up against former judge Keith Self. He was one of the only Republican candidates running for re-election that did not get support from former President Donald Trump, after Taylor refused to not certify the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden.
Despite the runoff, local Texan reporters revealed that Taylor held 49% of the vote to Self’s 27% before withdrawing his name in shame.
The news of his affair with Tania Joya first broke from the conservative National File news outlet, who published an interview with the woman in question just before Tuesday’s primary in Texas.
Tania Joya, described by conservative sources as an “ISIS bride,” gained attention as the once-radicalized wife of John Georgelas, said to be the highest-ranking American who joined ISIS in 2013. Escaping the Islamic State and moving to Dallas, Tx., Tania Joya now works to help those who have been radicalized rehabilitate back into American society.
In the interview, Joya, 38, said that Taylor and she became “very close” due to the nature of her work at the Unitarian church, and that the two of them started sexting each other before a physical relationship began, lasting around eight months.
She told National File that it irked her to see his smiling face plastered all over the county, especially since things ended the way they did. Needing some help with bills toward the end of the affair, Joya asked Taylor for help, and he allegedly supplied her with $5,000 on the condition that she kept their relationship a secret.
“I needed help. I was like, just help me out because that’s the least — the very least — he could do,” Tania Joya said. “For him, it was like, ‘OK, on the condition you don’t tell anyone.’ I didn’t want to tell anybody anything.”
GOP candidate Suzanne Harp, who somehow knew of the affair, contacted Joya to try and get Van Taylor to drop out of the race privately, with Joya telling the news outlet that she did not intend for the story to go so public.
“All I wanted was for Suzanne Harp to just say, ‘Hey, I know your little scandal with Tania Joya. Would you like to resign before we embarrass you?’ But it didn’t happen like that,’ Joya said.
Suzanne Harp, however, did not reach the runoff in the Texas primary for Taylor’s congressional seat, which will now be won by default by former Collin County judge Keith Self. On Wednesday night, it was reported that Taylor contacted Self and wished him good luck in his congressional bid.
“I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters,” Congressman Van Taylor wrote in an email to his supporters.
“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 said. “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.”
“I know the hurt does not stop there,” he continued. “I have let down so many other family members, friends, colleagues, supporters, and the people of the 3rd Congressional District whom I have had the great honor and privilege to represent. I am truly sorry, and I hope in time I can earn their forgiveness.”