It's official: State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, is running for Congress.

Taylor announced Wednesday he will seek the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano, in Texas' 3rd Congressional District. Taylor has been viewed as a likely candidate for the seat ever since Johnson announced in January that he would retire.

"I am determined now more than ever to fight for the future of our country and to make our nation stronger by taking the conservative solutions that we pioneered right here in Texas to Washington, D.C.," Taylor said in a video sent to supporters. "That is why I am announcing my candidacy to serve in the United States Congress."

A veteran of the Iraq War, Taylor served in the Texas House from 2010 to 2015, when he moved to the upper chamber. The race to replace him in Senate District 8 has been underway for months — and received a jolt Tuesday when word got out that Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, is considering a run

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Taylor enters the congressional race as the heavy favorite in the deep-red district. Even before he announced Wednesday morning, he received the endorsement of the Club for Growth, the influential national conservative group.

Taylor faces a lesser-known primary opponent in Plano businessman Roger Barone, and a number of candidates have lined up on the Democratic side. 

"I am going to work hard to earn the trust of every voter," Taylor said in the video, "and if elected I will honor that trust by always standing for conservative principles and work every day to safeguard our freedom."

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