Congressman Blake Farenthold has announced his resignation from Congress, effective 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018.
The announcement came in a press release from Farenthold’s office abruptly on Friday afternoon, just hours before the congressman’s resignation would become effective.
In a statement, Farenthold said he had sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, formally resigning, adding, "I know in my heart it’s time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve."
The decision follows his announcement in December that he would not seek re-election amid allegations of sexual harassment from a former staffer. Farenthold also apologized for angry outbursts reported to have occurred within his office.
Back in 2014, a former communications director, Lauren Greene, sued Farenthold for allegedly subjecting her to sexually suggestive behavior before firing her after she complained.
Then, in 2017, the allegations came to light again, after it became public that Farenthold had paid an $84,000 settlement in the case using taxpayer funds. Farenthold insisted he would pay that money back.
In response to Farenthold’s resignation, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers released a statement saying he and the committee hope and expect Farenthold to repay the funds used in that settlement.
Trouble continued in December when staffers brought up more allegations of improper conduct, leading to Farenthold’s decision not to seek re-election.
Critics called for Farenthold to resign immediately as the House Ethics Committee opened a new investigation. Throughout this, up to as soon as two weeks ago, Farenthold’s office told KRIS 6 News he planned on staying in office until the end of his term next January.
Farenthold’s resignation comes eight months ahead of the November general election, but the public won’t be without a representative for that long.
According to the U.S. Constitution, Governor Greg Abbott must now call for a special election to fill Farenthold’s spot. The winner of that race would then serve as District 27 representative until January 2019, the end of Farenthold’s original term. Then, the winner of November’s general election will be sworn into office.
For the special election, the entire primary procedure must be followed. We’ve asked the governor’s office to give us details of that procedure including dates for the election and are awaiting more information.
Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) issued the following statement Friday regarding his resignation from Congress.
“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, April 6, 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.”
Constituent services by the Congressman’s Red Tape Cutters, academy nominations and other services will continue under the supervision of the Clerk of the House.