U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) has resigned effective 5 p.m. today (Friday).

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold

Farenthold abandoned his re-election bid in December following public disclosure of his use of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint. “While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it’s time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve,” he said in a statement.

His resignation ends a House Ethics Committee investigation into other allegations of inappropriate office behavior and making false statements. In December, Farenthold promised to pay back the $84K he used to settle the complaint, but it is not clear that he has done so.

A special election will be needed to fill the rest of Farenthold’s term. It would coincide with the general election unless Gov. Greg Abbott (R) calls an emergency special election pursuant to Section 203.004(b), Election Code. In that case, a special election would be held on a Tuesday or Saturday between the 36th day and the 50th day after he orders it.

Former Texas Water Development Board chair Bech Bruun faces former Victoria Co. Republican Party chair Michael Cloud in the Republican runoff. On the Democratic side, Corpus Christi security officer Roy Barrera faces Eric Holguin, a former congressional aide and current liaison for the New York City Controller. Bay City educator Daniel Tinus has filed as a Libertarian candidate, and two independent candidates have also filed for the general election.

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