Farenthold has been an embarrassment

December 22, 2017 GMT

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold has made a good decision.

Farenthold, a four-term congressman from Corpus Christi, has announced he won’t seek re-election. This follows swirling news reports about alleged sexual harassment and a hostile work environment in his office.

Farenthold’s former spokeswoman, Lauren Greene, alleged in a 2014 federal lawsuit that he made sexual remarks about her. Farenthold has denied the claim, which he settled for $84,000 at taxpayer expense. He has said he will reimburse taxpayers.

But then came a stunning story in the New York Times in which aides described abusive and hostile behavior. As the Times reported, Farenthold was volatile and could grow easily enraged, berating staff and knocking items off his desk. It was also a place where happy hour would begin at 4:30 p.m., dubbed “beer-thirty,” and staff conversation would drift into the crass and inappropriate.


CNN followed with another damning report, attributed to a former male aide, chronicling lewd and inappropriate behavior from Farenthold.

We suppose Farenthold’s decision to not seek re-election means there will be no duel with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. In July, he criticized some Republican “female senators from the Northeast” for their opposition to efforts to pass a health care overhaul and said, if this criticism had come from “a guy from South Texas” he might ask him to duel.

It’s good that’s not happening, but we do expect Farenthold to repay the public its $84,000.

So, Corpus Christi voters will soon have a new representative. We can hope that this person, unlike Farenthold, will conduct himself or herself with the propriety and decorum voters should expect from their representatives.