A group of Tarrant Co. Republicans, including county party chair Tim O’Hare, have urged U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) to retire in the wake of the online publication of the 17-term congressman in the nude, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Anna Tinsley and others. O’Hare said in a statement that Barton should “make way for a candidate who better embodies our values and will ensure Congressional District 6 remains in Republican hands.”

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton

Barton has not faced a strong challenger for the seat in years, and the precincts located within the district have been reliably Republican for years.

CD6 is comprised of southeastern Tarrant Co., including most of Arlington and Mansfield, and all of Ellis and Navarro Cos. Donald Trump received 56% of the vote head-to-head against Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Greg Abbott prevailed over Wendy Davis, 59%-41%, head-to-head two years earlier. Barton enjoyed a 21K-vote advantage in straight-party voting in each of those elections.

In 2014, Barton defeated Democratic challenger David Cozad by 25 points. Nearly two thirds of all votes cast in that election were straight-party votes, and 61% of those votes went to the Republican Party’s nominees. Even if Cozad had received the support of 71% of full-ballot voters, Barton still would have won re-election.

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