Rep. Joe Barton won't run for re-election in wake of sexting scandal

Republican congressman Joe Barton said Thursday he will not seek re-election in the wake of a sexting scandal.

Barton had previously apologized, but had said he would not resign. That changed in the wake of another woman coming forward making allegations and a growing number of local Republicans urging him not to run again.

The trouble started more than a week ago, with a nude photo that made its way onto social media. Barton said it was a private photo he'd sent to a woman he was dating.

On Wednesday, a string of suggestive messages he sent on social media was released by a woman who said she'd only met Barton at Republican events. The messages were sent while he was still married.

Tarrant County Party Chair Tim O'Hare said Tuesday he hoped Barton would step aside. He got his wish on Thursday.

"With Joe Barton on the ballot it will have an effect on who shows up to vote," O'Hare said. "On down ballot races we don't want one person, due to their bad judgment and poor decision making, to bring down the whole ticket."

Jake Ellzey, a retired veteran in Midlothian, filed his paperwork Tuesday for Barton's seat. Ron Wright said Thursday he had resigned as Tarrant County Tax Assessor and would also run for the open seat.

Most of District 6 covers Ellis and Navarro counties, but it also includes Arlington. Barton had served in the House since 1985.

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