A former House Republican and retired Navy SEAL who lost his seat in 2018 is challenging Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the state’s senior senator, in 2020.
Scott Taylor, who represented Virginia’s 2nd district from 2017 to 2019, announced his run for Senate July 8 on Fox News. “There’s a leadership crisis in Virginia, Washington is broken, and we need a fresh start in the Senate,” he said in his campaign video, released Monday.
Taylor served on the House Appropriations Committee during his tenure on the Hill, but was unseated by fellow Navy veteran Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) in the 2018 midterms. He most recently worked as a consultant for Magna Imperio Systems Corp., a privately owned renewable energy and green technology company.
The Baltimore native began his Navy career in 1997 to 2005, serving initially as a sniper assigned to SEAL Team 4 in the United States and Latin America. He re-enlisted in the Navy after 9/11 and served as a Navy SEAL Sniper during Operation Iraqi Freedom, until he was injured while on a combat mission and medically evacuated to Germany and eventually back to the United States. He previously served in the Virginia House of Delegates before running for his House seat in 2016.
Warner has served in the Senate since 2009, and before that was governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006. He is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and also sits on the Senate committees for budget, finance, rules and administration, and banking, housing and urban affairs.
He has received over $652,000 in campaign donations from defense-related industries over his Senate career, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The top defense-related contributors include Northrop Grumman [NOC], providing nearly $92,000, and Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], providing over $79,000. Warner’s Virginia colleague, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), currently serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Taylor received over $117,000 in campaign donations for his 2018 reelection race from defense-related companies, including $78,000 from political action committees (PACs) and $39,600 in individual donations. Honeywell International Inc. [HON] was his number-two contributor with over $15,000 in PAC and individual donations, but Taylor also received funds from Huntington Ingalls, L3 Harris Technologies [LHX] and Northrop Grumman. He also received $11,285 in individual donations from U.S. Navy employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Luria beat Taylor in the midterms with over 51 percent of the vote.