U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes was the first casualty of a newly redrawn Virginia congressional map Tuesday, as he lost a sharp-elbowed primary against a young challenger who painted Forbes as a “cowardly” political opportunist.
Forbes was defeated by Scott Taylor, a 36-year-old state House delegate and former Navy SEAL, in the newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District. The district includes much of the defense-heavy Hampton Roads area.
Forbes was set for an easy re-election bid in his home district, the 4th Congressional District, which he represented for 15 years until a panel of federal judges ordered the state’s congressional boundaries redrawn in a way that made the district far more friendly to Democrats.
Rather than seek re-election in his home district, Forbes opted to run in the neighboring 2nd District after incumbent Rep. Scott Rigell announced his retirement.
But the move opened Forbes up to fierce criticism from Taylor, who called Forbes a political opportunist who was acting “cowardly” by running in a supposedly easier district.
“Once the fighting got a little bit tough, he’s running to save his own butt,” Taylor said during the campaign.
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Image courtesy of Patrick Kane/The Progress-Index via AP