An Arlington woman claims U.S. Rep. Joe Barton sent her a string of suggestive messages on social media back when he was still married.
She decided to share those messages because of the North Texas Republican rep’s leaked nude photo.
Kelly Canon is involved in the Republican Party in Arlington. In fact, she says she was one of about 20 women invited to a meeting with Barton on Monday, in which he asked for female feedback on what he should do. She says that's what really jogged her memories of messages from a few years back and recognized a pattern she says is unbecoming of a sitting congressman.
Canon reread the sexual messages she received from Representative Joe Barton in 2012 and 2013.
"He goes, 'Wanna tell me what you are wearing or not wearing tonight miss sweet dreams?' What do you do with that, you know? What do you do with that?” she said. “You just like brush it off is what I was doing. Brush it off or shut it down."
Canon, who’s a political activist, says she's met Barton several times at political events. She's currently a precinct chair for the Tarrant County GOP, has run for Arlington City Council and campaigned against the new Rangers Ballpark and red light cameras in Arlington.
For years, Canon and the 68-year-old congressman talked politics over Facebook. But over time, his tone changed.
In one message, Canon says, "here's a parting hug." Barton says, "u r soft n curvy. I like that."
On another day, Barton says, "so that means u to wearing a tank top only and no panties?" She says, "ok that's enough you know my attire! Good night." He presses, "answer me miss evasive. And then you can ask me if u wish. Waiting."
In another exchange, Barton tells Canon he's married, followed with "I am not thinking good thoughts at this moment."
"I am hoping for two things: Number one — that he decides to step down, and number two — there is a sickness here, and there's a pattern here. And I cannot be the only one. I cannot be the only one. I want others to come forward,” she said.
Canon says she decided to come forward after someone tweeted a nude photo of the representative last week along with sexually explicit text messages.
Barton apologized to his constituents, explaining he'd had consensual sexual relationships with other women while divorcing his second wife. He then went on the attack after a Washington post story with the woman who says she received the nude photo and who shared a recording she has of her and Barton talking about it.
Barton says Capitol Hill police are now investigating whether he is the victim of a crime. According to Canon, the Barton apology wasn't much of an apology at all.
"I don't think he was fully owning up to it at all,” she said. “There's more stuff out there, and I want them to come forward, too. They'll be in good company."
The Washington Post has reported it also obtained a recording of Barton talking to the woman who received that nude photo. The Post reports that in that recording, Barton can be heard telling her that if she went public with the pictures and texts she had from him, he'd tell investigators they had an "undercover relationship" and that she was in a position where she could "use them in a way that would negatively affect my career.”
When asked for a response, Barton's spokesperson declined to comment.