It’s being reported now that Blake Farenthold is going to announce he’s dropping out of the Republican primary for his seat and is not seeking re-election:
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) December 14, 2017
NBC News has confirmed GOP Rep Blake Farenthold will retire at the end of his term and won’t run for re-election in 2018; NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers met with the congressman yesterday & Speaker Paul Ryan talked to Farenthold TWICE late yesterday.
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) December 14, 2017
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) December 14, 2017
U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, under fire over a sexual harassment lawsuit, will withdraw from the March 6 Republican primary.
A statement from Farenthold’s camp was expected later this morning.
News of Farenthold’s decision comes as two prominent Texas Republicans, one a sitting member of Congress and the other a former congressman and presidential hopeful, are supporting challengers to Farenthold in the primary.
Former Congressman Ron Paul, who retired after seeking the 2012 presidential nomination, said he is backing longtime Victoria Republican activist Michael Cloud.
“I know him to be a man of his word, principled, trustworthy and hardworking,” Paul said in a statement distributed by the Cloud campaign. “I hope my former supporters will get behind him because our country desperately needs leaders with integrity, courage and moral character. Michael Cloud is that kind of leader.”
U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, meanwhile, announced his support for Bech Bruun, the Corpus Christi native who last week resigned as chairman of the Texas Water Development Board to challenge Farenthold. Williams is the first member of the Texas GOP delegation in Washington to publicly break with the incumbent.
“Bech is exactly the kind of person I would be proud to call a colleague in the United States Congress,” Williams, R-Weatherford, said in a news release distributed by Bruun. “Bech knows what it means to be a good steward of your hard-earned tax dollars.”
Farenthold, who is seeking a fifth term representing the Coastal Bend, has been under intense fire since it was disclosed that he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former aide with $84,000 in taxpayers’ money. He has said the settlement was a strategic decision to put the matter to rest even though he insists the charges are untrue.
I think his days were numbered as soon as we found out he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with $84,000 in taxpayer money. But surely yesterday’s reporting along with pressure from Paul Ryan is what pushed this over the edge.
This post originally appeared on The Right Scoop