Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold has decided to not run for another term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The news comes in the wake of allegations that the congressman ran his office like “a frat house,” per the New York Times, and frequently bullied and harassed his staff, including making lewd comments about women and calling staffers degrading names. Farenthold was sued over accusations of sexual harassment three years ago, paid $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle charges of sexual harassment filed by a former aide, and is the focus of an open Ethics Committee investigation into behavior that has been described as both verbally abusive and sexually demeaning.
According to the ABC affiliate in Victoria, Texas, the Congressman spoke to his constituents via Skype on Wednesday saying that while he “absolutely did not engage in any improper conduct”–and was paying back the $84,000 settlement fee–he would not seek reelection.
Unless his constituents or members of the Republican party demand otherwise, Farenthold is expecting to complete his term, which ends in 2019. That means the 2018 campaign for the Texas 27th Congressional District seat is heating up.ML