State Politics

State Sen. Brian Birdwell joins the call for Joe Barton to step down

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton Star-Telegram archives

Another Republican state senator on Thursday joined the call for U.S. Rep. Joe Barton to not seek re-election after a nude photo of him ended up online and a series of private messages with sexual overtones between him and a constituent were released.

“The conduct of Congressman Joe Barton that has been confirmed — along with new revelations coming to light — is simply unbecoming of representing these counties, citizens and families in the U.S. Congress,” state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, said in a statement.

“I urge him to place the interests of the district first and step aside. Should Congressman Barton seek re-election, I recommend that his constituents dutifully seek other candidates to support as their representative.”

Earlier this week, a number of Tarrant County Republicans — including Tarrant County Republican Party Chairman Tim O’Hare and state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville — called on Barton to not seek re-election.

“We must hold public officials to a high standard and recent publicized incidents demonstrate those standards were not met,” Burton said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “With only weeks left for primary filing, I am asking Joe Barton not to seek re-election so that Tarrant County can move forward in making sure we send a strong conservative to Congress from District 6.”

Last week, Barton apologized after a nude photo of him ended up online.

Also on Wednesday, an Arlington woman shared a series of private messages — some with sexual overtones — that she exchanged with Barton.

Barton filed earlier this year for re-election but could choose to withdraw from the race. Filing for spots on next year’s March 6 primary ballot runs until Dec. 11.

Barton has represented the 6th Congressional District, which includes most of Arlington and Mansfield and all of Ellis and Navarro counties, since 1985. Burton’s district includes several Tarrant County communities, including parts of Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and Colleyville.

Some Republicans question whether Barton’s presence on a ballot could impact down-ballot races.

A week after nude photos of Rep. Joe Barton surfaced on Twitter, the Star-Telegram received copies of messages the congressman sent to another woman. In the messages, Barton asks Kelly Canon sexual questions including whether she was “wearing a ta

Last week, nude photos of Rep. Joe Barton were posted on Twitter without his permission. This video, from March 2017, shows Barton speaking at a Frost, Texas town hall about a potential revenge porn law. He is heard saying he voted against a bill

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley