Rep. Joe Barton announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2018 after a lewd video and series of messages were publicly released.
“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,” Mr. Barton, Texas Republican, said to the Dallas Morning News.
Mr. Barton vowed just weeks ago that he intended to run for another term next year, but said that he feels the campaign would not be right for his family after the information that’s come out about his personal relationships.
The Texas congressman has acknowledged having extramarital affairs during his second marriage. He is now divorced from his wife, but apologized for the embarrassment the story caused his family. He added that his 12-year-old son asked him not to run again.
Mr. Barton has not been accused of sexual harassment or violent sexual behavior and said all the relationships he had were consensual. He told the Dallas Morning News he was a victim of “revenge porn,” adding that an investigation is already underway.
In the image released of Mr. Barton, he appears to be nude. A series of sexually explicit Facebook messages were also released.
He is the longest-serving member from Texas and was first elected in 1984. He was one of the members present during the congressional baseball practice where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and severely wounded in June.