Former GOP rep launches Senate campaign in Virginia

Former GOP Rep. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorElaine Luria endorses McAuliffe for governor in Virginia Democratic primary Luria holds onto Virginia House seat Chamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch MORE announced Monday that he is running for Senate in Virginia, hoping to unseat Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire 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 KaineOvernight Defense: Watchdog blasts government's handling of Afghanistan conflict | Biden asks Pentagon to look into mandatory vaccines | Congress passes new Capitol security bill GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships 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 TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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.