Report: Barton Confirms Racy Text Exchanges With Another Woman
Comes as more Texas Republicans call on him to retire
An Arlington, Texas, woman released a series of racy text messages between her and Rep. Joe Barton a week after a nude photo of Barton was circulated across the Internet.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram obtained the messages showing Barton, R-Texas, sent explicit texts to Kelly Canon, a local Republican activist, asking what she was wearing.
Canon said the two exchanged messages on Facebook messenger for two years.
“He took it a step too far on rare occasions,” she said. “He was very fascinated with my attire, to the point of being inappropriate.”
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Barton confirmed to the newspaper that the exchange took place. Barton’s consultant said the congressman has apologized, but Canon said he has not.
Among the messages Canon shared included one from June 2012 asking if she was wearing underwear.
“so.. that means u r wearing a tank top only..and no panties?” Barton asks in the exchange.
“Ok, thats enough. You know my attire! Good night,” Canon responds in the time, to which Barton replied “answer me miss evasive.”
At the time of the messaging, Barton was still married to his second wife, Terri.
When he apologized last week, Barton said he had sexual relationships with women when he was separated from his wife before their divorce.
Canon is a board member of the Arlington Republican Club and a member of the Republican Women of Arlington.
Canon was present at a meeting on Monday of Tarrant County Republican leaders asking Barton not to run for re-election. Canon said she did two days of soul-searching after the meeting, which led her to release the messages.
“He actually thinks he can win,” she said. “I thought maybe if I come forward maybe others will come forward, too. Someone has to step up. This is a pattern.”
The revelation comes Texas Republicans are calling on Barton to not run for re-election.
State Sen. Konni Burton said Barton should drop out, the Dallas Morning News reported.
“We must hold public officials to a high standard and recent publicized incidents demonstrate those standards were not met,” Burton said in a statement.
Ellis County Republican Party chairman Randy Bellomy did not say whether Barton should drop out, but did criticize his conduct.
“His lifestyle is inconsistent with Republican ideals, and he has brought disgrace not only to Ellis County and the 6th Congressional District, but also to the people of Texas and this great nation,” Bellomy said in a statement.
Barton has already picked up one GOP opponent — Jake Ellezy, a retired Navy combat pilot, filed paperwork with the Republican Party of Texas to enter the primary.