Former GOP rep launches Senate campaign in Virginia

Former GOP Rep. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorFormer GOP rep launches Senate campaign in Virginia Virginia special prosecutor indicts former GOP campaign staffer The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE announced Monday that he is running for Senate in Virginia, hoping to unseat Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight Defense: Trump hits Iranian central bank with sanctions | Trump meeting with Ukrainian leader at UN | Trump touts relationship with North Korea's Kim as 'best thing' for US Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg courts critics on Capitol Hill | Amazon makes climate pledge | Senate panel approves 0M for state election security Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit MORE (D).

He kicked off his campaign on "Fox & Friends," arguing that Virginia has a “leadership crisis” and needs a “fresh start in the Senate.” 

Taylor, an ex-Navy SEAL, served one term as the representative for Virginia's 2nd Congressional District.

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His reelection campaign faltered after his campaign staffers were accused of forging voter signatures to put a third-party “spoiler" candidate on the ballot. His campaign is currently being investigated by a special prosecutor.

Virginia, once a swing state, has become a Democratic stronghold.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Missouri Republican wins annual craft brewing competition for lawmakers Sen. Kaine: No reason for US to 'engage in military action to protect Saudi oil' MORE (D-Va.), for example, won his reelection race by over 15 percent last year.

However, Taylor told The Associated Press in an interview that his race is closer than it may appear.

He told the news service that his military background and moderate record on social issues will help attract suburban voters disillusioned with the party during President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE's time in office.

Warner's campaign wished Taylor luck in a statement to AP, while noting that the incumbent has raised more than $7.4 million for his reelection effort.

“Scott Taylor is an experienced campaigner, having run or explored running for five different offices in the past decade,” Warner campaign manager Bruce Sinclair said.