Van Taylor

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For the soccer player and coach, see Eugene Van Taylor (soccer).
Nicholas Van Campen Taylor
Texas State Senator for District 8 (Collin and Dallas counties)
Assumed office
January 13, 2015
Preceded by Ken Paxton
Texas State Representative from District 66 (Collin County)
In office
April 20, 2010 – January 13, 2015
Preceded by Brian McCall
Succeeded by Matt Shaheen
Personal details
Born (1972-08-01) August 1, 1972 (age 44)
Dallas, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Anne Taylor (married 2002 in New York City)
Residence Plano, Texas
Alma mater Harvard College
Occupation Businessman
Religion Episcopalian
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major
Battles/wars Iraq War

Nicholas Van Campen Taylor, known as Van Taylor[1] (born August 1, 1972), is a businessman from Plano, Texas, a veteran of the Iraq War, and a Republican departing member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 66 in western Collin County. On January 13, 2015, he left the state House to become the District 8 member of the Texas State Senate.

Early years[edit]

A seventh-generation Texan, Taylor was born in Dallas.[1] He is a direct descendant of one of the founders of Humble Oil, which later became Exxon-Mobil.[2][3] 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.[4]

His parents divorced in 1999.[2]


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.

Political connections[edit]

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 Corporation with Tom Craddick, former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2]

2006 campaign for U.S. House[edit]

In 2005 and 2006, Taylor ran for Texas's 17th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. 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.[5]

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

2010 campaign[edit]

On December 2, 2009, Taylor announced his candidacy for the District 66 Texas State House seat. Plano city council member Mabrie Jackson had already resigned from the council to enter the House race.[6] On November 30, 2009 incumbent Representative Brian McCall announced that he would not run for re-election.[7] 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.[8] 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 Texas Legislative Session[edit]

During the 82nd Texas 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.

Texas State Senate[edit]

2014 campaign[edit]

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 stepping down to run for state attorney general.[9]

Meanwhile, two Republicans, Matt Shaheen and Glenn Callison, competed in the May 27 runoff election to succeed Taylor in House District 66. In the primary held on March 4, 2014, Shaheen led with 4,880 votes (48.8 percent); Callison trailed with 4,001 votes (40 percent). The third candidate, Stacy Chen, held the remaining 1,116 votes (11.2 percent).[10] Shaheen won the runoff, 4,612 to 3,886[11] and then won the November 4, general election against a Libertarian Party candidate.

Political ideology[edit]

Taylor is considered a major ally of the Tea Party movement.[12] He has been endorsed by the North Texas Tea Party for his 2014 campaign for Texas Senate, District 8.[13]


  1. ^ a b Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Somervell County Salon-Populist Online News and Opinion-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass Texas". Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  3. ^ "JANE OWEN Obituary - Houston, TX | Houston Chronicle". Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  4. ^ "Connecting People, building relationships". Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  5. ^ "State Sen. Van Taylor". Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  6. ^ "Star Local: Plano Star Courier". Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ [2] Archived March 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Taylor to seek Paxton's Texas Senate seat | Dallas Morning News". 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  10. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Republican runoff election returns, May 27, 2014". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ Tomlinson, Chris (2013-01-15). "Texas House starts session with fight over rules, powers | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal". Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  13. ^ "First NTTP TeaApproval for 2014 – Van Taylor for State Senate, District 8". 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Brian McCall
Texas State Representative from District 66 (Collin County)

Nicholas Van Campen "Van" Taylor

Succeeded by
Matt Shaheen
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Ken Paxton
Texas State Senator for District 8 (Collin and Dallas counties)

Nicholas Van Campen "Van" Taylor

Succeeded by