Corpus Christi Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold has turned in his resignation, effective at the end of business today (Friday).
Farenthold, whose 27th District includes Matagorda County, Victoria, Wharton, Bay City and points inland to Bastrop had already announced he would not seek reelection in November.
He has faced multiple allegation of sexual harassment, misconduct, and inappropriate behavior.
In a statement, Farenthold says he notified Governor Greg Abbott of his intention to resign. He added, "while I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it's time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve.”
A former communications director told Fox News the congressman would regularly make sexually graphic jokes and verbally abuse staffers.
Farenthold was sued for sexual harassment by a former aide in 2014. The settlement came from a public fund, paid for with tax money. When the allegations went public, Farenthold promised to reimburse the fund to the tune of 84,000-dollars.
The House Ethics Committee was also investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the congressman.
Republicans Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud are in a May runoff battle to see who will succeed Farenthold, but with his immediate resignation, Governor Abbott will have to call for a special election to fill the congressman’s term until January, 2019.
Here is Farenthold's complete statement:
“Since being elected to Congress in 2010, I’ve worked to make government more efficient and responsive, cut government spending, repeal Obamacare, protect life and reduce the debt. Locally, I’ve worked tirelessly to get federal funding for the widening and deepening project at the Port of Corpus Christi and help our other area ports and military facilities. I’ve also been extremely successful in working with our communities on recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Most importantly, I’ve been able to help countless people, especially veterans with their problems with the federal government.
“While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it’s time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve.
Therefore, I sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott today resigning from the House of Representatives effective at 5:00 p.m. today, April6, 2018.
It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the constituents of Texas’ 27th Congressional District. I would like to thank my staff both in Washington and Texas for all of their hard work on behalf of our constituents. I would also like to thank my family for their unwavering support and most importantly the people that elected me.
Leaving my service in the House, I’m able to look back at the entirety of my career in public office and say that it was well worthwhile.”