Nicholas Van Campen Taylor, known as Van Taylor (born 1972), is a businessman from Plano, Texas, a veteran of the Iraq War, and a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 66 in western Collin County.
1 Early years,
3 Political Connections,
4 2006 campaign,
5 2010 campaign,
6 82nd Legislative Session,
7 2014 Texas State Senate Campaign,
8 Political Ideology,
9 See also,
11 External links,
A seventh-generation Texan, Taylor was born in Dallas. He is a direct descendant of one of the founders of Humble Oil, which later became Exxon-Mobile. He grew up in Midland, Texas, where he attended the Hillander School and San Jacinto Junior High School. He graduated from St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He subsequently graduated in three years from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from which he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in history.
His parents divorced in 1999.
In Iraq, Taylor was assigned to the Marine Corps' Company C, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion and fought with 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. As a captain, Taylor led missions in advance of Task Force Tarawa during Operation Iraqi Freedom, which detected and defeated several Fedayeen ambushes. He also participated in a casualty evacuation of thirty-one wounded Marines, transporting them safely to medical treatment.
Taylor's military decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal with "V", the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Presidential Unit Citation. Taylor left the Marine Corps Reserves as a Major.
Taylor's connections to Texas' Republican establishment run deep, and were exposed in great detail during his failed 2006 campaign for U.S. Congress. Taylor's father, Nicholas C. Taylor, served on the board of Midland-based Mexco Energy with Tom Craddick, former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Additionally, the elder Taylor contributed significant sums to George W. Bush's campaign for governor, and was later appointed to the Texas State Securities Board by then-governor Bush. Both Taylor's father and mother have been appointed to various boards, commissions, and honorary positions by Republican Texas governors including Bill Clements and former Speaker Craddick.
In 2005 and 2006, Taylor ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, District 17. He won the Republican primary with 54.03% of the vote. With only 40.31% of the vote in the general election, he lost to incumbent Chet Edwards.
On December 2, 2009, Taylor announced his candidacy for the District 66 House seat. Plano city council member Mabrie Jackson had already resigned from the council to enter the House race. On November 30, 2009 incumbent Representative Brian McCall announced that he would not run for re-election. Observers speculated that McCall had told Jackson that he would step down so that she could get a head start in the campaign. McCall also endorsed Jackson as his preferred successor.
The candidates in the Republican primary held on March 2, 2010, were Wayne Richards, Jackson, and Taylor. While Jackson earned the largest number of votes (41 percent) in the primary, she was shy of the 50 percent plus one vote required to win the nomination outright. Wayne Richards promptly endorsed the runner-up candidate, Taylor, who then defeated Jackson in the April run-off election. McCall left the House seat early, and Taylor was sworn into office on April 20, 2010 by Collin County Judge Keith Self.
82nd Legislative Session:
During the 82nd Legislative Session, Taylor served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on End of Life Issues in addition to serving as a member of the Human Services Committee and the Committee on Defense and Veteran's Affairs.
Keeping a campaign promise, the first piece of legislation Taylor filed for consideration was a bill to ensure that military personnel can cast a vote while serving overseas. The bill passed unanimously in both the House and the Texas Senate and was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. Taylor authored legislation to prevent politicians and government employees from receiving pension benefits if convicted of a felony. He also proposed legislation at the request of Collin County to prevent taxpayer subsidized health care from being given to legal immigrants who are able to afford it.
Throughout the session, Taylor took strong stances in support of requiring photo identification to vote, 2nd Amendment rights, and lowered taxes, while opposing the use of accounting gimmicks to balance the budget. Taylor also fought against the federal healthcare reform (popularly called Obamacare) by supporting an increase in states' rights to decide healthcare issues for themselves.
Taylor was cited as a "Taxpayer Champion" by the interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. He was recognized by the Texas Conservative Coalition and Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum for his conservative voting record during the session, receiving a rating of 90 percent or greater from both organizations.
2014 Texas State Senate Campaign:
On August 2, 2013, Taylor announced he would seek the Republican Party's 2014 nomination for the Texas Senate, District 8 seat currently held by Ken Paxton, who is vacating the seat to run for Texas Attorney General.
Taylor is considered a major ally of the Tea Party movement. He has been endorsed by the North Texas Tea Party for his 2014 campaign for Texas Senate, District 8.