‘Family Values’ Republican To Leave Congress After Paying $84,000 In Taxpayer Money To Silence Sexual Harassment Accuser
U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who came under fire over a sexual harassment lawsuit, has announced that he will not seek re-election next year and will withdraw from the March 6 Republican primary, the USA Today reported Thursday.
The news was shared by Mike Bergsma, chairman of the Nueces County Republican Party.
“It’s a damn shame,” he said. “He’s been an excellent congressman, and I’m sorry this has happened.
“One wonders whether anyone could have survived scrutiny that intense.”
News of Farenthold’s decision comes as Democrats are running in all of Texas’ 36 congressional districts, signaling that Republicans will have to fight for every seat in Congress during next year’s midterm elections for the first time in 25 years.
“We are seeing a groundswell of unusually high support and mobilization among progressive Democrats who are really angered by the Trump administration,” says Mark Jones, a political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute.
Farenthold, who was seeking a fifth term representing the Coastal Bend, has been under intense fire since it was disclosed that he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former aide with $84,000 in taxpayers’ money.