Friday, December 1, 2023

Special prosecutor to investigate names gathered by Rep. Scott Taylor’s staff for Shaun Brown

Republican Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-1) speaks in front of a crowd at York High School in Yorktown in April 2017. (WYDaily/file photo)
Rep. Scott Taylor (R-2nd) speaks in front of a crowd at York High School in Yorktown in April 2017. (WYDaily/file photo)

A  special prosecutor will investigate whether Virginia election laws were broken in the gathering of signatures for Shaun Brown’s independent bid for the 2nd Congressional District.

The signatures were gathered by staff associated with the re-election campaign of Rep. Scott Taylor, R-2nd, in what appears to be an attempt to split opponents’ votes.

Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin D. Stolle said in his request for a special prosecutor that the investigation includes possible forgery as well as violations of election laws.

Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald R. Caldwell has been appointed as special prosecutor in the case.

Four people whose signatures apparently appeared on the petition to get Brown on November’s ballot told WHRO-FM on Monday they never signed such a document.

Another woman said her dead husband’s name is on the petition.

Taylor is running against Democrat Elaine Luria. Brown was the district’s Democratic candidate in 2016.

The 2nd District includes Accomack and Northampton counties, portions of York and James City counties, and the cities of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Hampton.

Taylor’s office declined comment Tuesday.

“Democrats and Republicans agree that the integrity of our election process is paramount,” said Jake Rubenstein, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia. “VA-02 voters deserve to know if Congressman Taylor’s paid staff violated the law, and if all candidates received the required number of signatures to make the ballot this November.”

This story was published in partnership with our sister publication, Southside Daily. 

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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