Beleaguered Texas Congressman Faces A Fleet Of GOP Primary Challengers

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold is running for reelection as his sexual harassment scandal continues.

By Rhonda FanningDecember 12, 2017 7:01 am|

With the recent resignations of a handful of U.S. lawmakers and a growing tally of disgraced former heavy hitters in media and entertainment, you might be wondering – why are some of them forced from their positions while others manage to hang in there?

At the moment, Texas Congressman Blake Fahrenthold is among the latter. Despite revelations that he settled sexual harassment allegations using taxpayer money – and a new story in the New York Times last night describing his congressional office as a frat house on the Hill – Fahrenthold’s denials, and his promise to repay taxpayers have so far kept him in office and his reelection bid on track.

John Moritz, Austin correspondent for the Corpus Christi Caller Times, says Farenthold could face a difficult Republican primary next year.

“In the last few days, no fewer than nine candidates have stepped forward seeking to oppose him,” Moritz says. That includes six fellow Republicans.

“It’s a pretty Republican district. Farenthold has won it in the 60-40 range the last few times he’s run, so it would remain to be seen whether any of the Democrats could get any traction against him,” Moritz says. “But in a primary, there’s a target on his back.”

He says a primary run-off is not unlikely. Even though Texas Republicans aren’t calling for Farenthold to resign, he faces pressure from a steady stream of local and national news coverage.

“Just as Roy Moore is painting the national media as outside forces trying to influence a local matter, I could certainly see Farenthold and his supporters taking a page from that book and saying the same thing, ‘What does the New York Times know about Corpus Christi?’” Moritz says.

 

Written by Jen Rice.