The 30-plus year career of U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) will come to a close at the end of his current term. Barton announced on Thursday that he will not seek reelection following a scandal about sexual messages in an extramarital relationship.
“I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection in 2018,” Barton said in a written statement. “It is time to step aside and let there be a new voice.”
Speaking to the Dallas Morning News about the relationship he had with another woman that became public recently, Barton said he always listens to people of Texas.
“I’ve been listening to a lot of people the last week,” the central Texas representative said. “There are enough people who lost faith in me that it’s time to step aside.”
Graphic photos and suggestive messages Barton exchanged with a woman surfaced last week, the Dallas newspaper wrote. Following the disclosure, other women came forward and spoke publicly about their experiences with the veteran congressman.
To date, none of the women accuse Barton of sexual harassment or an abuse of power. Barton apologized for the indiscretions that occurred during a “rocky” period with his now ex-wife. Barton divorced in 2015, according to the News.
He told the newspaper he believed he could win reelection but that he didn’t want to put his family through the ordeal of what he believed would be “a nasty campaign.”
Barton told the reporter his 12-year-old son Jack asked him not to run. He said his son told him, “Well you’ve done a lot of good. You have a good record, and you don’t need to keeping running to prove that.”
The photos and messages appear to have been released by women that Barton was in some type of relationship with. Despite being sent with an expectation of privacy, the images were released in what could be construed as “revenge porn.”
The Texas Legislature passed a law in 2015 that criminalizes revenge porn, Breitbart Texas reported. In July 2017, police arrested a Texas woman after she allegedly posted explicit pictures of her former boyfriend.
After being arrested, the court released Traci Lorraine Aragon from a San Antonio jail on $2,000 bond. Prosecutors charged her with “publishing intimate material.”
in 2016, a Texas appellate court affirmed $345,000 in damages in a revenge porn case. In that case, a woman sued her ex-boyfriend after he posted a sex video of her on the internet.
Barton, having been elected to Congress in 1984 served the people of Texas for more than 33 years. He currently the longest-serving member of the Texas congressional delegation.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Gab, and Facebook.