New Calls from Within GOP for Rep. Joe Barton to Not Run for Re-Election

There are new calls for the longest serving Congress member from Texas to step down and not run for re-election.

These calls are coming from Republican Rep. Joe Barton's own party.

Barton has apologized for a sexually explicit photo, obtained by TMZ, that he reportedly sent to a woman with whom he was in a relationship.

A group of approximately 20 Republican women met with Barton on Monday evening at a home in North Texas, according to Tarrant County GOP Chairman Tim O'Hare.

O'Hare is calling on the congressman to resign at the end of the year.

"Thirty-two years in Congress, this is what we see now? It is time for Mr. Barton to go," O'Hare said on Tuesday. "Elected officials should be role models, and Congressman Barton's conduct falls well below that standard."

Jake Ellzey, a Navy combat veteran, announced Tuesday that he has filed to challenge Barton for the 6th Congressional District.

Ellzey said in a campaign announcement that Barton's explicit photos did not influence his decision to run, but he added that he would work to impose term limits if he were elected.

A second challenger has also thrown his hat into the race. Dr. Monte Mark Mitchell, of Handley, is a physician, attorney and custom home builder.

O'Hare said he has learned the calls for Barton not to seek re-election in March are growing louder within the party.

"The congressman was trying to have a meeting with female Republican leaders, and the meeting took place last night," O'Hare said. "Multiple people spoke up and said that he shouldn't run again."

O'Hare said that should be the case, even if Barton is potentially the victim of revenge porn by a woman with whom he ended a relationship.

"I would have a very difficult time describing what has happened to Mr. Barton as him being the victim," O'Hare added. "He brought it on himself. Nobody put a gun to his head and said, 'Take a picture of yourself without clothes on while aroused.'"

O'Hare says Barton is guilty of "sexual immorality."

"I think he should leave Washington and spend time becoming a better father and a better man, but it's time for Mr. Barton to go. We don't want him on the ballot in Tarrant County," he said.

O'Hare is concerned that voter turnout would be affected if Barton is on the ballot.

The last day for candidates to file is Dec. 11.

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