A Republican Congressman Helped a Rival Collect Signatures to Get on the Ballot. Some of Those Signatures were Fake

Rep. Scott W. Taylor (R-Va.) sat in the backroom of his campaign office in a strip mall. Mini-blinds closed, a modest “Scott Taylor U.S. Congress” sign taped to the door was all that identified his reelection headquarters. Inside, a couple of workers sat at desks amid stacks of yard signs, but the congressman declined to come out when a reporter showed up.

Taylor is hunkered down in the midst of a strange campaign scandal involving forged signatures on petitions to get a competing candidate into the race. Taylor has been subpoenaed to a court hearing Wednesday in Richmond to determine his role and whether that third candidate is improperly on the ballot, while a special prosecutor separately investigates possible campaign law violations.

The controversy has boosted his Democratic opponent, Elaine Luria, in a race with national implications. The 2nd District — which is largely Virginia Beach but also touches on Norfolk, parts of Hampton and Williamsburg and the entire Eastern Shore of Virginia — went for Trump in 2016 but backed Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam last year. It’s a race targeted by Democrats as a possible flip in their quest to regain control of the House of Representatives.Scott Taylor

Taylor has been popular in an area with a heavy concentration of active-duty and retired military. A former Navy SEAL with “Top Gun” looks and form-fitting suits, he has raised twice as much money as Luria, a first-time candidate who has been learning on the trail.

As the deadline for qualifying for the ballot approached in June, Taylor’s campaign took the unusual step of gathering signatures for an independent competitor. Shaun Brown had been his Democratic opponent in 2016 — and he beat her by 22 points — but she was now under the cloud of a federal fraud investigation and had no party support to run again. So Taylor’s staffers mounted a last-minute push and turned in nearly 600 signatures for Brown, giving her more than the 1,000 needed to qualify.

Read the full report from The Washington Post.