Joe Barton, Senior Texas Republican, Apologizes for Explicit Photograph

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The bellow of a naked Mr. Barton, with his non-public substances obscured earlier than it used to be posted, spot off off waves of hypothesis in Texas and Washington, where sexual harassment charges are roiling Capitol Hill. The tweets, which looked on Monday, integrated an bellow of a sexually explicit text message, ostensibly sent by Mr. Barton, in conjunction with a cryptic reference to harassment.

It used to be no longer particular why the bellow used to be posted. Lawmakers called and texted one another Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning looking to discern whether or no longer the bellow used to be genuine, but got no steering from the occasion’s leadership or Mr. Barton.

AshLee Stable, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, said Mr. Ryan had spoken to Mr. Barton on the matter but would “preserve these conversations between the 2 of them.”

Mr. Barton is the longest-serving member of the Texas congressional delegation and used to be the Energy and Commerce Committee chairman when President George W. Bush used to be in the White Home. He veteran that perch to advertise the pursuits of his yelp’s oil and gas enterprise and even clashed with some fellow Republicans when his committee investigated scientists doing research on climate alternate.

He had decreased his sights extra no longer too prolonged ago, telling friends that he hoped to dispute the investigatory subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce panel. That subcommittee chairmanship is at the moment vacant attributable to its most latest chairman, Consultant Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, resigned closing month after it used to be printed that he had impressed his mistress to look an abortion.

Unlike other passe lawmakers who like retired after their time atop influential committees has arrive to an pause, Mr. Barton had shown no hobby in leaving Congress.

“I’m the queer duck who didn’t quit,” he joked to The Dallas Morning News in an interview this month.

His non-public existence has been extra turbulent than his political occupation. He divorced his first companion in 1993 and his 2nd companion two years ago.

Mr. Barton has young young of us from his 2nd marriage, and certainly one of them, his 10-365 days-veteran son, used to be at the congressional baseball phrase earlier this 365 days when a man sprayed the field with bullets, gravely injuring Consultant Steve Scalise, the majority whip, a lobbyist and a Capitol Police officer. One other police officer used to be injured as smartly. Mr. Barton is the longtime coach of the Republican baseball team.

Democrats were no longer planning to aggressively contest Mr. Barton’s conservative-leaning seat: His simplest-funded Democratic challenger, Jana Lynne Sanchez, had finest $16,440 on hand as of the initiate of October.

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