U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) announced today he will not seek re-election, as sexual harassment allegations swirl around his office, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"His campaign manager told me he is not running for re-election," Nueces County Republican Chairman Mike Bergsma told News Radio 1200 WOAI. "He is not going to resign, but he will not be running for re-election."
Farenthold, who is the grandson of legendary Texas Democratic Party leader Sissy Farenthold, was accused of using taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a staffer who claimed he sexually harassed her, and then fired her when she complained. Another staffer, a male, came forward to claim that Farenthold was sexually abusive to his staffers. He said he quit after Farenthold started making sexual comments about his wife.
"I think its a damn shame," Bergsma said.
He says even though the period for filing for next year's elections has passed, there are four Republicans running for the seat, and he is confident that the GOP will hold the seat.
"My take on it is, Blake probably was a little rough in his language, and who amongst us guys has not been," Bergsma said.
Farenthold becomes the second Texas Republican to decline to seek re-election in 2018 due to sexual allegations. North Texas Congressman Joe Barton bowed out earlier this month, after naked pictures of him, apparently taken by an ex girlfriend, appeared on the Internet.
PHOTO; U.S. REP BLAKE FARENTHOLD