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This report has been updated since we sent our Breaking News alert.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) announced he would not seek re-election.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton

“It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 6th District of Texas for over three decades,” Barton said in a statement. “It is time to step aside and let there be a new voice.”

A growing number of local conservative leaders, including Sens. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) and Konni Burton (R-Colleyville), had called on Barton to step aside in the wake of a nude photo posted online and subsequent revelations of additional relationships with women.

He is the 7th member of the Texas delegation to announce plans to retire or seek another office.

Tarrant Co. Tax Assessor-Collector and former Arlington council member Ron Wright said he would seek the seat. He worked for Barton as district director (2000-2009) and chief of staff (2009-2011) until he was appointed to his current office. He was elected to a full term in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. Burton endorsed a Wright candidacy in her statement calling on Barton to step aside. Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) also said he would support Wright.

Midlothian former Naval fighter pilot Jake Ellzey and Fort Worth physician Monte Mitchell were already in the race for the Republican nomination. At least three Democrats have filed: Waxahachie songwriter Jana Lynne Sanchez, Arlington Navy veteran Levii Shocklee and 2016 nominee Ruby Faye Woolridge.

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