Rep. Joe Barton, the randy Texas congressman, said today he is changing course and will not seek re-election when his term ends next year, following revelations that he texted photos of his penis to a woman.
He claimed the incident occurred several years ago when he was separated from his wife, but even more sexting messages have surfaced when he was married.
IM reported on Nov. 22, that case has some parallels to a sexting scandal involving former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) who was forced to resign.
Weiner was later convicted in a separate case of sexting with a 15-year-old girl.
Barton told The Dallas Morning News today (Nov. 30) that he would retire, after announcing his intention earlier this month to seek an 18th term.
“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,” he told the newspaper.
“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 reelection,” he added.
Barton sent Facebook messages in 2012 to Kelly Canon, a Republican activist, making lewd comments, such as asking her whether she was wearing panties, according to the Ft. Worth Star Telegram.
Barton was married to his second wife at the time, according to The Associated Press. The marriage ended in 2015.
Local officials and politicians have called for his resignation amid the personal scandal
An unidentified woman told the Washington Post Wednesday Barton sent her a series of illicit photos, videos and texts after they had sex several years go.
“I am not guilty of sexual harassment,” Barton insisted.