‘Today I am announcing I will not continue my campaign to seek reelection to Congress,’ US Rep. Van Taylor emailed supporters
‘I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life’, Taylor continued, Wednesday
Married father-of-three, conservative GOP politician Van Taylor, 49, dropped his bid for reelection after admitting to nine-month affair with an ex-Jihadi bride
Just days earlier, several conservative news outlets ‘hit’ Taylor with the expose of a nine-month long affair with Tania Joya, known as the ‘ISIS bride’
Van Taylor [R-TX], dropped his bid to return to Washington after the story of his extramarital affair with Tania Joya, 39, was passed on to conservative media by a primaries opponent
Taylor who allegedly, ‘paid Joya $5,000 in hush money, had also agreed to buy his ex-mistress a home for $600,000, along with $150,000 for utilities and other expenses’ – National File reported
Rep. Taylor reportedly, met reformed ‘ISIS bride’ Joya, a mother-of-four, on her job where works to reprogram those who have been radicalized
Taylor had been headed to a runoff against ex-Collin County judge Keith Self, when he didn’t hit the plus-50 per cent threshold in Tuesday’s Texas primary
Days earlier, the ex-paramour had reached out to Suzanne Harp, who was running against Taylor and Self in the Republican primary
Joya reportedly, ‘was hoping the rival would privately tell Taylor she knew of the affair – and push him to drop out of the race and resign from Congress’
An unprecedented extramarital affair appears to have blown the reelection bid of conservative congressman Van Taylor [R-TX], who dropped his bid to go back to Washington on Wednesday after apologizing for having a nine-month affair with a former ISIS bride.
‘Today I am announcing I will not continue my campaign to seek reelection to Congress,’ Taylor emailed supporters, according to the Dallas Morning News.
‘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.’
Rep. Taylor won just shy of 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s GOP primary, days after conservative outlets exposed the story of his affair with Tania Joya over the weekend. He was headed for a runoff against former Collin County judge Keith Self before he abruptly announced he was leaving the race.
A pregnant Joya and their three sons was taken to Syria by her ex-husband John Georgelas – an American Muslim convert – in 2013.
She escaped with their three children after three weeks, and she now lives in Texas, where she works to reprogram those who’ve been radicalized.
She once described Georgelas and herself as having been ‘so thirsty for an Islamic state,’ and says she was first radicalized during her time living in London as a teenager.
The National File reports that ex-ISIS bride Tania Georgelas has accused Taylor of abusing his position in order to gain consent and continued their affair even after learning that she was dealing with crippling depression and suicidal thoughts.
The affair between Taylor and Joya lasted from October 2020 to June 2021, and saw Taylor, a hardline conservative politician, send Joya extremely explicit texts which saw him request that she perform multiple sex acts on him.
Last week, Joya reached out to Suzanne Harp, who was running against Taylor and Self in the Republican primary, hoping the rival would privately tell Taylor she knew of the affair – and push him to drop out of the race and resign from Congress.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Joya, annoyed at seeing her ex-lover’s face on billboards around town said : ‘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?”‘ Joya told the paper.
‘But it didn’t happen like that.’
‘Instead, Harp sent a supporter to interview Joya, with the story popping up on the National File’s website on Sunday, and Breitbart running an exclusive of it on Monday – one day before the election.
Taylor allegedly paid Joya $5,000 in hush money.
‘I needed help. I was like, just help me out because that’s the least – the very least – he could do,’ she told the Dallas Morning News.
‘For him, it was like, “OK, on the condition you don’t tell anyone.” … I didn’t want to tell anybody anything.’
Taylor also agreed to buy Joya’s home for $600,000, along with $150,000 for utilities and other expenses, National File reports.
‘I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters,’ Taylor said in the note to supporters. ‘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 congressman added.
Taylor, 49, is a former Marine and Iraq War combat veteran who is widely considered to be one of the most conservative members of the Texas delegation, with high marks from the National Rifle Association, Heritage and other conservative groups.
He has an A+ rating from the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List for standing up ‘against the pro-abortion agenda of the Biden-Harris administration and Pelosi Democrats.’
The pair allegedly met while Joya was working with a program called Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), according to the National File. Taylor took interest in Joya’s story and extended the meeting from 15 to 30 minutes. The two then exchanged cell phone numbers.
Joya says she started the affair when she told Taylor she found him attractive, the National File reports. The two began exchanging messages, with Taylor describing in detail the sex acts he wanted Joya to perform on him.
Joya says Taylor began messaging her nonstop in October 2020, after she admitted that her marriage to her second husband was falling apart and she needed help with her children.
Taylor who did not Donald Trump’s endorsement in 2021, was one of 35 Republicans who joined Democrats in voting for the establishment of a January 6 Commission.
Taylor had previously was one of four GOP reps who voted with Democrats to certify the 2020 election results.
Joya lives in Plano, Texas – her now ex-husband’s home state – and works to reprogram those who’ve been radicalized.
This work, according to the Morning News, is how she was introduced to Taylor.
‘We were very close,’ she told the Morning News on Monday night.
Harp called the affair ‘shocking … disturbing and unbecoming of a sitting US Representative’ on election day eve, adding it would be ‘dangerous to have compromised and corrupt representation in Washington.’
Taylor, the incumbent, still received 48.7 per cent of the vote with 95 per cent of precincts reporting Wednesday.
Self got 26.5 per cent and Harp got 20.8 per cent.
He had, however, been leading in early voting, taking 51.8 per cent of the vote share in a five-way race – which suggested the affair coming out right before election day did do some damage.
Taylor also didn’t receive an endorsement from former President Donald Trump as he was one of four Texas Republicans who voted in favor of certifying the 2020 presidential election for President Joe Biden.
Born in Harrow, London to a Muslim Bangladeshi family, Joya said she became radicalized at age 17 after the September 11 terror attacks. She met American born John Georgelas in 2003. They were married within a month in a sharia ceremony that was made official at Rochdale Register Officer in England in October 2004.
Joya had the ‘escape’ she craved, moving with her new husband first to an upmarket suburb where she was overawed by the Georgelas family’s four-bedroom, five-bathroom home with a pool.
The couple travelled to England and Syria, initially funded by money from their marriage, then settled in California, where Georgelas got a job as a data technician.
He was caught illegally accessing passwords for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, however, and was sentenced to 34 months in jail. He served his sentence, and Joya stuck by him, and again during three years’ further probation in Texas.
Joya, one of five children born to Nural and Jahanara Choudhury, both moderate Muslims who raised their children as Muslims, but also encouraged them to embrace a university education and embark on professional careers, charted a solo path into radicalism .
Named Joya at birth, she was always known as Tania. While her parents were hard-working, Joya said that as ‘the fourth unwanted daughter’, she felt unloved and wanted to run away.
Her unhappiness at home, she previously claimed, was exacerbated by the racism the family experienced living in Harrow, North-West London.
However, after the Choudhurys moved across London to Barking, Joya began studying for A-levels at a new sixth-form college in East London. The teen who had never taken religion seriously, came in contact with a group of ultra-conservative students – began reading the Koran and wearing the jilbab and a niqab to cover her face even though her family ‘hated it’.
The 2001 terror attack on the Twin Towers in New York, when she was 17, only hardened her resolve. By her own admission, she went on to become ‘really jihadi, hardcore’.
Her extremist views and the conservative clothes she wore led to rows with her parents. ‘For them, it was going backward, and they didn’t know why I wanted to go backward,’ she said in the interview.
In 2003, aged 19, she went on a Muslim matrimonial website in February 2003 looking for a husband. Within a month, she met John Georgelas, youngest son of Colonel Timothy and Martha Georgelas, who had spent part of his childhood in Cambridgeshire when his father was stationed there during the Eighties.
Like Joya, Georgelas had rebelled against his family and their politically conservative, Christian values.
Despite his military heritage, he had dropped out of school, become a prolific drug-user and converted to Islam shortly after 9/11 after meeting foreign students near his parents’ home in Plano, Texas.
Georgelas was jailed in the US for three years in 2006 for hacking into the website of a pro-Israel lobbying group.
In 2011 the couple who now had two sons moved to Egypt where their third son was born that Christmas.
In August 2013, Georgelas and Joya, who was pregnant with their fourth son, left Cairo and moved with into the Syria, and set up home in A’zaz, in the abandoned villa of a Syrian general.
Joya said her stay in Syria lasted only a few weeks. There were shoot-outs on the street. Food was scarce. She and her sons became sick with vomiting bugs. In September 2013, She took her children and headed for Turkey where her fourth son was born in January 2014.From there, she met a contact arranged by her husband, who got them on a plane to Istanbul.
Joya says her late ex-husband was the ‘highest-ranking American’ in the Islamic State.
After her escape from Islamic State she returned to Dallas, Texas and swiftly divorced Georgelas, dropping his surname.
She travelled with the children to London, then to Texas where she initially moved in with her former parents-in-law.
Today, she shares custody of the four children with them. She had remained in touch with her husband for several years after she had fled Syria, she says, but they lost contact in 2015.
Some reports suggest that American-born ISIS member John Georgelas, was killed in 2017. However, according to other reports Georgelas, who now goes by the name of Yahya al-Bahrumi, is still believed to be in Syria.