A Texas woman has released a series of conversations between herself and Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton, in which the tea party member would ask if she was wearing any panties.
Kelly Canon, a conservative activist and tea party organizer in Dallas, released the Facebook Messenger conversations on Nov. 29, SFGate reported. The conversations took place between 2011 and 2015.
In one of the messages from June 2012, Barton asks Canon if she was "wearing a tank top only ... and no panties." Barton was married at the time to his second wife, but is currently divorced.
Canon admitted that "97 percent" of the conversation between herself and Barton were regarding politics or their mutual admiration for Texas A&M football. She said: "[W]henever he would take the conversation south, as it were, I would not engage him in further discussion. I would shut it down."
Canon added that she continued conversations with Barton because she didn't want to risk burning bridges with a powerful Texas Republican.
"I would just dismiss it as 'that's just Joe,'" Canon explained.
The leak of the conversations comes just a week after a nude photo of Barton was shared on social media. Canon said she had forgotten about the messages between herself and the politician until she saw the photo.
Canon said she decided to make the Facebook messenger conversations public after Barton refused to resign.
"It killed me to do so," Canon said, adding that she felt it was important because "the Democrats are going to have a feeding frenzy" with Barton's name on the 2018 ballot.
Barton has since apologized for the nude photo. He also confirmed the conversations between himself and Canon in a text message to the Star-Telegram, SF Gate reports. He declined to make any further comments.
Canon said she did not want an apology from Barton. She said she recently saw him at an Arlington event, and personally spoke to him about resigning. Canon did not tell him of her plans to release the Facebook conversations.
In an interview with The Dallas Morning News on Nov. 30, Barton announced that he will not run for re-election.
"I’ve always listened to people in Texas and worked for them in Washington, and I’ve been listening to a lot of people the last week in Texas," Barton said. "There are enough people who lost faith in me that it’s time to step aside and let there be a new voice for the 6th district in Washington, so I am not going to run for re-election."