WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas announced Thursday he won’t seek re-election in 2018.
The news of the Texas Republican’s retirement comes shortly after a naked photo of the 68-year-old began circulating on social media. Barton — who didn’t mention the scandal in his announcement — said he’s proud of the work he has accomplished during his time in Congress, but “now it is time to step aside and let there be a new voice.”
“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 in a statement. “Over the last 33 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.”
Shortly after the picture began circulating online, Barton apologized to his constituents after confirming the lewd photo was taken by him and sent to a woman he was having a consensual relationship with after separating with his second wife.