Congressman Joe Barton will not run for re-election

UPDATE:

The following statement was sent by John Duncan’s campaign. Duncan is running in the Democratic Primary for the District 6 nomination.

John W. Duncan responds to Joe Barton’s statement

ARLINGTON, TX – The recent uncovering of Rep. Joe Barton’s conduct involving the sending of nude photos shows serious lapses in judgement and leadership that we should not expect from our members of Congress. This episode has distracted us from talking about the issues that are important to the constituents of the 6th Congressional District of Texas.

I welcome Rep. Barton’s announcement that he will not seek reelection in 2018. His retirement will allow us to stay focused on discussions about job creation, economic growth, healthcare affordability, public education improvements, and other topics that affect the day-to-day lives of the hard-working families of our district.

ORIGINAL POST:

A little more than a week after a naked selfie of him was posted online, along with a sext that he sent to a woman he was sleeping with, Texas Congressman Joe Barton has told the Dallas Morning News that he will not seek re-election in 2018. Barton, a Republican from Ennis, is now in his 17th term in Congress. He is the longest-serving member of the Texas congressional delegation.

Barton told the Morning News:

“I’ve always listened to people in Texas and worked for them in Washington, and I’ve been listening to a lot of people the last week in Texas. …There are enough people who lost faith in me that it’s time to step aside and let there be a new voice for the 6th District in Washington, so I am not going to run for re-election.”

In recent days, leaders in the Ellis County and Tarrant County Republican parties, both at least partially within the boundaries of the 6th District, have called for Barton to resign. But he told the Morning News that it was his 12-year-old son asking him not to run that sealed the deal.

Barton has long been an enemy of LGBT equality and other progressive causes, including women’s rights, and has portrayed himself as a champion of conservatism and “family values.” That’s why the nude photos and lewd texts, from a time he was separated from but still married to his second wife, that have come to light over the last week have been so damaging, even though none of the women with whom he was involved were underage (as in Roy Moore’s case) or ever accused him of sexual harassment or abuse.

Barton also told the Morning News that while he believes there are still plenty of people in the 6th District who support him and would vote for him if he ran again, “it would be a nasty campaign, a difficult campaign for my family.”

— Tammye Nash