VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Second Lady Karen Pence campaigned with Scott Taylor on Thursday.
Taylor is running for his old congressional seat in the second district. Pence joined Taylor for private events at the new Marriott Hotel at the Oceanfront.
Afterwards, she made brief comments to reporters. "It's not very often when you look at two candidates running against each other that you can really sit and and look at both of their records in Congress," she said.
Taylor, who represented the district from 2017-2019, lost his re-election bid to Elaine Luria. The two are now squaring off in a rematch.
"[Mrs. Pence] understands this is a top ten race in the nation," he said. "Our current representative has been ineffective, has been absent, and has been unaccountable."
News 3 spoke with Luria on Wednesday ahead of Mrs. Pence's visit. "I think we have a very strong track record record of serving the community, veterans, and the military, our military families, and I am communicating that every day to voters across the district," said Luria.
Taylor says he has challenged Luria to a series of debates to which he says she has not responded. "She refuses to debate. She refuses to come out and speak about the issues that affect us every single day," he said.
Same question for @ElaineLuriaVA . It’s been 42 days now that she has not responded, and much longer, to organizations who want to put on debates. #WheresElaine? https://t.co/2Pu48bTtuq— Scott Taylor TEXT “Taylor” to 41411 (@Scotttaylorva) August 9, 2020
Luria said she was talking with five groups about potentially talking about issues. "I am working with local organizers of proposed events and we'll look forward to talking to voters in all kinds of venues," she said.
Luria and Democrats continue to hit Taylor for his staff's involvement in a forgery investigation two years ago. Staffers were accused of forging signatures to get a third-party candidate on the ballot. One has already pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
"It's very clear two years later it's not the same story," said Taylor. "Look, I've taken responsibility for it. I've done countless interviews. I've taken responsibility for my team, but it's very clear I had no knowledge of any wrongdoing."
Experts expect this to be a closely watch and very competitive race in November.