Former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor has seen plenty of firefights in his military career, including time as a sniper in Iraq. In early September, the battle was joined against the slippery foe of political scandal. The first-term incumbent already faced a tough race in the Virginia 2nd Congressional District that backed Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam last year, and where President Donald Trump’s approval ratings are underwater. Now, he was facing a scandal of his campaign’s own making, in which his supporters allegedly forged signatures to get a competing candidate into the race to split his Democratic opponent’s votes.
The Republican briefly went into hiding, with only a few campaign stops while being subpoenaed for a court hearing in the state capital of Richmond. Meanwhile, his opponent, Elaine Luria, also a Navy vet, barnstormed the district and appeared on national television, adding fuel to the flames. The Richmond judge found “out-and-out fraud” in the signature scandal, and the third-party candidate’s name was taken off the ballot, although Taylor’s team wasn’t punished further for its role.