ARLINGTON AND ENNIS, Texas (CBS11) – Laura James is among Congressman Joe Barton’s constituents still surprised by events of the past week. “Everyone has secrets, but you don’t expect anybody to have those kind of secrets.”
In a statement Thursday, he said, “It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 6th District of Texas for over three decades, but now it is time to step aside and let there be a new voice.”
James says, “Well, I’m disappointed. I think he’s done a good job.”
Barton’s decision follows a growing number of Republicans calling on him not to run again next year.
He said he sent it to a woman had a consensual sexual relationship with.
Then yesterday, Republican activist Kelly Canon revealed sexually suggestive private Facebook messages that she says Barton sent her.
Warren Norred is a Republican Tarrant County Precinct Chair and lives in Barton’s district. “It’s one of relief. We were all concerned about the race going forward, what happens in the primary, what would happen in the general.”
Tarrant County Tax Assessor Ron Wright, who was once Barton’s District Director and Chief of Staff, spoke with him Thursday morning. “I told him I thought that was the right decision for him and his family as well as the right decision for the people of the 6th District.”
Now, Wright is joining Jake Ellzey and Deborah Gagliardi in the Republican primary for Barton’s seat.
Ruby Faye Woolridge, who ran unsuccessfully against Barton in 2016, Jana Lynne Sanchez, and Levii Shocklee have filed for the Democratic primary.
The filing deadline is December 11.