Congressman Joe Barton, hit with 'sexting' revelation, bows out of 2018 race

J. Scott Applewhite

The next year, in another series of messages to the woman, Barton said, "I don't know about good. but I am married".

One week later, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published sexually suggestive messages between Barton and another woman dating to 2012, before Barton and his wife had separated.

Barton, who represents a district south of Dallas, was in the national spotlight last week after a close-up photo of his genitals first appeared on an anonymous Twitter account, along with a lewd message he had written, about a month after he had announced his intention to seek re-election.

"I've been listening to a lot of people the last week", the central Texas representative said.

He stressed that each relationship was consensual and has since ended. In July 2017, police arrested a Texas woman after she allegedly posted explicit pictures of her former boyfriend.

While Barton definitely should have been more careful with whom he was sexting, it's pretty disturbing that this was used to take down his career.


She described sexual encounters and contact extending over five years, beginning with her posting of a message on Barton's Facebook page in 2011. "I offered to take the matter to the Capitol Hill Police to open an investigation". There is no federal law prohibiting "revenge porn" - essentially, the release of explicit images or pornography without the subject's consent - though Texas did pass such a law in 2015. Barton told the Dallas Morning News he would vote for it. Still, Republicans in Texas already suggested he shouldn't run again.

An excerpt of Barton's alleged conversations with Small can be viewed below. One of the messages from Barton said, "so that means u r wearing a tank top only, and no panties? right now?"

"OK thats enough. You know my attire!"

"Answer me miss evasive", Barton wrote back.

Canon, who remains active in Republican politics in Arlington, Texas, said she did not think Barton's behavior was appropriate, and also implied that she wanted to see Barton step aside.

Small said she thought Barton was separated and chose to end the affair when she found out he was still married. "I am not thinking good thoughts at this moment".

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