Facing a flurry of allegations of sexual harassment and abusive behavior, the specter of an ethics investigation and a field of primary challengers, four-term U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) announced he would not seek re-election.
In a video posted to his campaign’s Facebook page, Farenthold said he was “profoundly sorry” for how me managed his congressional office. “I allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional,” Farenthold said. “I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outbursts and too often a failure to treat people with the respect they deserved. That was wrong.”
Farenthold’s decision comes one day after a colleague, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin), endorsed one of Farenthold’s primary opponents.
Despite his withdrawal, Farenthold’s name will remain on the Republican primary ballot. Under state law, a candidate not wishing to appear on the primary ballot had to withdraw by Tuesday.
He becomes the eighth member of the 36-seat delegation to announce plans to retire or seek another office. Texas will have at least eight freshman members of the House for the second time this decade. One more retirement or electoral defeat will tie the all-time record of nine freshmen members of the Texas delegation set in 1897 and 1979.
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