By Jack Crowe
Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas will conclude his current term but has decided to withdraw his reelection bid amid allegations of sexual misconduct and creating a hostile work environment, The Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed Thursday.
Farenthold’s decision to withdraw from the crowded Republican primary, first reported by local Texas ABC affiliate Crossroads Today, comes amid mounting pressure due to an open Ethics Committee investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and numerous recent reports detailing allegations that he facilitated a hostile environment in his congressional office.
The Texas conservative first came under fire in early December after Politico exposed an $84,000 taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlement paid to Farenthold’s former communications director Lauren Greene.
The withdrawal comes hours Farenthold’s former top aide described being verbally abused by the embattled lawmaker.
Michael Rekola told CNN that Farenthold said, “Better have your fiancée blow you before she walks down the aisle — it will be the last time,” shortly before he was married.
The CNN report came days after The New York Times described Farenthold’s office as a “frat house,” citing multiple former staffers who alleged the congressman facilitated a hostile and sexually demeaning workplace.