WASHINGTON — After new suggestive Facebook messages were released that compounded last week’s release of his naked selfie, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) announced today that he won’t be running for re-election.
The naked selfie of the congressman was circulated from an anonymous Twitter account along with an image of a lewd text message from the lawmaker.
Barton, who is the dean of the Texas delegation, is the 9th most senior member of the House of Representatives, serving since 1985. He serves as vice chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
He was divorced in 2015 and has four children. “While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” Barton said in a statement last week. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”
This week, though, a Republican activist revealed sexual private messages she received from Barton when he was still married.
On June 13, 2012, after midnight, the congressman messaged Kelly Canon, “So that means u r wearing a tank top only.. and no panties? Right now?”
Canon replied, “Ok, that’s enough. You know my attire! Good night…”
Barton then said, “Answer me miss evasive and then u can ask me if u wish waiting…”
The next year, in another series of messages to the woman, Barton said, “I don’t know about good.. but I am married… I am not thinking good thoughts at this moment.”
Barton did not address the scandal in his statement declaring he’s backing out of 2018.
“As a young congressman, my slogan was ‘listening to you in Texas, working for you in Washington.’ For me that was never just a saying, but a commitment – a way of life,” he said. “Over the last thirty three years, I have held thousands of public meetings and visited with so many great people in Texas on issues important to them. In Washington, I have voted over 20,000 times on the House floor to hopefully make life a little better for the people in the 6th District.”
Barton added that he’s “very proud of my public record and the many accomplishments of my office.”
“It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 6th District of Texas for over three decades, but now it is time to step aside and let there be a new voice,” he said. “I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection in 2018. To the people of the 6th District, thank you for your support and friendship.”