Special prosecutor to probe possible forged signatures tied to Republican congressman’s campaign

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) fired his campaign manager after scheme to get 2016 Democratic nominee on ballot as an independent.

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA)
Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) walks with supporters of the DREAM Act in September 2017. CREDIT: Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images

It’s been a rough few weeks for Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA). Late in June, the first-term congressman from Virginia Beach was exposed for not having paid his local taxes — an error he blamed on being too “busy” to do so. Now, it appears his campaign may have been involved in a scheme to split the Democratic vote involving forged ballot signatures for an independent candidate.

Last week, WHRO reported that four staffers for Taylor had circulated ballot petitions for Shaun Brown, his 2016 opponent. Brown, whose fraud trial ended in a mistrial on Thursday, is attempting to run this year as an independent candidate. Eager to split the opposition, Taylor’s paid campaign staff helped collect at least 570 signatures to put her on the ballot (1,000 signatures are required for independent candidates in Virginia). Taylor told the Virginian Pilot that he did not “order” his staff to do take part in this underhanded, but not itself illegal stunt.

Unfortunately for Taylor, it appears that  at least four of those signatures may have been forged. Forms his staff submitted contained signatures for people who claim not to have signed.

One of the signatures submitted reportedly came from a civic activist who died in April — months before the Taylor staffer affirmed collecting the signature on June 9. His surviving wife claims the handwriting does not match and that there is no way he could have signed, at any time before his death. Another purported signor denied signing and said she has lived in Las Vegas since 2014.


Taylor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Monday that he has investigated and found no wrongdoing by his employees. But on Tuesday, Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle (R) requested a special prosecutor to investigate possible violations of election laws and forgery.

After this announcement, Taylor told WAVY’s Andy Fox that he had fired his campaign manager, but claimed the move came before he learned about the apparently forged ballot petition signatures.

Taylor, who has previously claimed to be a supporter of “the rule of law,” defended Donald Trump’s aborted election fraud commission last summer, saying “I think if it’s their prerogative to try to figure out if there is in fact an issue with voter fraud in certain states, I don’t see a big issue with it.”