‘I am urging you to give those funds back to the counties in your district…’
(John Wynne, Liberty Headlines) An emergency special election for a Texas congressional district will be held in June – and the governor wants the congressman who vacated the seat to pay for it.
Yesterday the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent out a press release demanding that former U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold provide the funds to hold the special election.
Both Abbott and Farenthold are Republicans.
Farenthold resigned following revelation of a secret settlement in a sexual harassment case – paid for with taxpayer money.
Farenthold had offered to give the money back to Congress.
But Abbott thinks paying for the special election would be a better use of the funds.
“While you have publicly offered to reimburse the $84,000 in taxpayer funds you wrongly used to settle a sexual harassment claim, there is no legal recourse requiring you to give that money back to Congress,” the governor wrote in a letter to the former congressman.
“I am urging you to give those funds back to the counties in your district to cover the costs of the June 30, 2018, special election. This seat must be filled, and the counties and taxpayers in the 27thCongressional District should not again pay the price for your actions.”
In the letter, the governor made reference to the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the district; All of the district’s counties continue to be under a state disaster declaration.
Abbott noted the continued vacancy could impact recovery efforts.
“Hurricane relief efforts depend heavily on action at the federal level, which can only occur if Texans residing in disaster zones have full and effective representation in Congress,” the governor wrote.
Farenthold, first elected to Congress in 2010, resigned earlier this month.
As of press time, Farenthold had not responded to Abbott’s request.