Joe Barton | KERA News

Joe Barton

Christopher Connelly

When longtime Congressman Joe Barton announced his retirement in the middle of a sexual scandal, 11 Republicans campaigned to replace him. 

Now, the race is down to two: Ron Wright, who's served as Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector, earned 45 percent of the primary vote. Jake Ellzey, a pilot, got 22 percent.

In their runoff, one thing that’s up for debate? The value of political experience.

Left: Campaign Facebook page; right: Christopher Connelly/KERA News

When Republican Congressman Joe Barton announced he’d retire after 34 years in the House, 16 Democratic and Republican candidates campaigned to win the open seat.

Now, the Democratic field has narrowed to two.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

For the first time in three decades, the 6th Congressional District in North Texas is an open seat. The race to replace longtime Rep. Joe Barton of Ennis, who announced he wouldn’t seek another term amid a scandal last year, touched off one of the most crowded Republican primary races in Texas.

Joe Barton’s fall from grace happened quickly. Last week, a nude selfie rumored to be from the longtime North Texas Congressman began circulating on social media. Barton apologized for the photo and text, saying he’d sent them to a woman he was dating.

Official House portraits

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media earlier this week. 

Congressman Joe Barton Facebook page / Facebook

Texas congressmen were among those at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia where a gunman opened fire on Wednesday.

In an interview with NBC 5's Lone Star Politics Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican from Ennis, says he will soon introduce a bill that would establish a path to citizenship for the minor children of undocumented immigrants. He'll also call for creating a guest worker program.