John-Duncan

Congressional candidate John Duncan has seen his race get a lot of attention since a naked photo of incumbent Congressman Joe Barton was posted online last week.

Democrat John Duncan expects to travel to Austin on Friday, Dec. 1 to file in the Democratic Primary for Congressional District 6, the seat currently held by Republican Joe Barton.

The Democratic Party has been concentrating on four other congressional races, Duncan said. But then controversy exploded over Barton’s nude photo, which last week was posted online along with the sext he sent a woman he was dating while separated — but not divorced — from his second wife. And all of a sudden, the race is getting attention.

Attention, indeed. The race has been featured on the front page of The New York Times.

“They definitely think it’s an interesting race now,” Duncan said.

While Duncan joked about countering Barton with his own nude photos, he said he really just wants to stick to the issues.

Three other candidates have filed on the Democratic side: Jana Lynne Sanchez, Levii R. Shocklee and Ruby Faye Woolridge, all of Arlington. Although some news outlets have reported that a Republican candidate has filed in that race, the Secretary of State’s website shows no Republican candidates — including Barton — as having filed. At least one Republican has expressed an interest in running.

Now in his 17th term, Barton is the longest-serving member of the Texas congressional delegation.

On Friday, Duncan will turn in petitions with more than 1,000 signatures. He only needed 500.

Candidates can either file with petitions requiring a certain number of signatures, that number being based on the number of people who voted in that race in a previous election, or they can pay a filing fee.

Duncan isn’t the first LGBT candidate in North Texas to file for election. Julie Johnson of Carrollton has already filed to run for Texas House District 115 (Matt Rinaldi of Irving has filed to run in the Republican Primary in that race), and Lorie Burch of Plano has already filed for the District 3 seat in Congress, currently held by Republican Sam Johnson (No one else has filed in either party in that race).

Jeffrey Payne of Dallas said today he plans to file for governor in the Democratic Primary on Monday, Dec. 4. Three other Democrats have already filed in that race: Adrian Ocegueda of Dallas, Grady Yarbrough of Flint and Tom Wakely of San Antonio. Dallas County’s Latina lesbian sheriff, Lupe Valdez, has said she is considering a run for governor, too. On the Republican side, incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott and SECEDE Kilgore of Irving have filed.

Dallas trans woman Pam Curry has announced her intention to run for the District 8 seat in the Texas Senate but she has not yet filed. The only candidate in that race that has filed is Republican Angela Paxton of McKinney, wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is under indictment for securities fraud.

Lorie Burch, left, and her wife Kimberly Kantor, and their two daughters at the Collin County Democratic Party Office as Burch files as a candidate in the Democratic Primary for Congressional District 3. (Photo courtesy Lorie Burch)

— David Taffet