Texas demands Blake Farenthold pay for election to replace him

April 25, 2018 GMT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a demand Wednesday that former Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican who resigned office after facing allegations of sexual harassment, pay the state to hold the election to replace him.

Mr. Abbott earlier this week announced a special election will take place in June to serve out the rest of the year.

But he said Wednesday the cash for that should come from the former congressman’s campaign funds.

“This seat must be filled, and the counties and taxpayers in the 27th Congressional District should not again pay the price for your actions,” he said in a letter to the former congressman. The letter was sent to Mr. Farenthold’s old office on Capitol Hill, which he resigned from on April 6.

Mr. Farenthold, a Republican, had the government pay $84,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim. That fact was exposed amid last year’s #MeToo movement.

Mr. Abbott said the former congressman had offered to repay that money, but there’s no way to force him to do that. Instead, the GOP governor said, he should send the cash to the counties that will have to hold the special election.