by Elizabeth Ruiz
A Texas Congressman whose nude photo has been circulating online is stepping aside.
Representative Joe Barton of Ennis, the longest-serving member of the Texas delegation, has announced he will not seek re-election.
The announcement Thursday by the veteran Republican came after a Texas newspaper revealed the Facebook conversations Barton had with tea party activist Kelly Canon in which Barton sometimes made inappropriate comments, such as asking if she was wearing panties.
Barton apologized last week after the nude photo of him appeared on Twitter, but he didn’t mention the scandal in his retirement announcement.
He said he’s proud of his service, but “now it is time to step aside and let there be a new voice. Barton had received pressure from members of his own party to step down.
The Congressman told the Dallas Morning News that his 12-year-old son asked him not to seek re-election. When he asked why not, his son replied: “Well you’ve done a lot of good. You have a good record, and you don’t need to keeping running to prove that.”
Barton was first elected to Congress in 1984.