Blake Farenthold

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Blake Farenthold
Blake Farenthold, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 27th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Solomon Ortiz
Personal details
Born Randolph Blake Farenthold
(1961-12-12) December 12, 1961 (age 53)[1]
Corpus Christi, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Debbie Farenthold
Children 2
Residence Corpus Christi, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas

St. Mary's University

Occupation Attorney/Consultant
Religion Episcopalian[citation needed]

Randolph Blake Farenthold[2] (born December 12, 1961) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Texas's 27th congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Farenthold was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, the son of Mary Sue (née Ogg) and George Randolph "Randy" Farenthold. His paternal grandfather, George Edward Farenthold, was a Belgian immigrant who was the descendant of an aristocratic industrialist family and worked in the oil industry in Texas.[3][4] Farenthold attended Incarnate Word Academy and the University of Texas at Austin where he received a bachelor of science degree in Radio, Television, and Film. He also graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio.[5]

Radio career[edit]

Farenthold's pre-political career includes working as a radio disc jockey in high school and college, seven years of practicing law at the Kleberg Law Firm in Corpus Christi and founding Farenthold Consulting LLC, a computer consulting and web design firm.

Farenthold co-hosted Lago in the Morning, a conservative talk radio program on KKTX radio, until he began his political campaign.

Farenthold's radio career is the model for that of Rev. Spotty Spitford, the antagonist in Jacob Appel's (2012) satiric novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up.[6][7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010

Farenthold defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Solomon Ortiz by 799 votes on election night.[8] Ortiz asked for a manual recount. On Monday, November 22, Ortiz conceded the race to Farenthold. Farenthold's final margin of victory over Ortiz was 47.85 to 47.1 percent held.[9] His margin of victory was 799 votes.[10] Ortiz had represented the district since its creation in 1982.

2012

Redistricting after the 2010 census made Farenthold's district significantly more Republican. His old district had been 70 percent Latino, but the new map shifted most of the Latino areas to the newly created 34th district. To make up for the loss in population, his district was shifted well to the north and east, absorbing some heavily Republican territory near Houston and Austin.

He defeated Democratic nominee Rose Meza Harrison 57%-39%.[11]

2014

Farenthold was not challenged in the Republican primary. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Wesley Reed.[12]

Tenure[edit]

Farenthold has joined the Republican Study Committee, as well as the Tea Party Caucus. Since redistricting in 2011, his district runs along the middle Texas gulf coast from Corpus Christi to Bay City and inland to Luling, and includes Aransas, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton, and parts of Bastrop, Caldwell, and Gonzales counties.

In December 2014, Farenthold was sued by a former staffer, who accused the congressman of gender discrimination, saying that he created a hostile work environment and improperly fired her after she complained.[13]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Farenthold lives with his wife Debbie and two daughters Morgan and Amanda in Corpus Christi. He is the step-grandson of Sissy Farenthold, a long-time Democratic icon in Texas, who was married to his grandfather, George Farenthold, from 1950 until 1985.[citation needed]

In 1972, when Farenthold was ten years old, his father disappeared and was later found dead, his body having washed ashore after being weighed down with a cement block and deposited in Corpus Christi Bay.[14] The gangland-style murder was the work of enemies of the elder Farenthold, who feared he would testify against a group of con artists who had tried to defraud him out of $100,000.[15]

Controversy over pajama images[edit]

In 2010, images of Farenthold dressed in duck pajamas alongside women in lingerie emerged on the website thecrushgirls.com. Farenthold's Democratic challenger subsequently ran a political ad highlighting the unusual subject nature of the matter.[16]

Electoral history[edit]

2010 27th Congressional District of Texas Elections[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Blake Farenthold 50,954 47.85
Democratic Solomon Ortiz 50,155 47.10

References[edit]

  1. ^ 112th Congress: Leading at Press Time: Blake Farenthold, R-Texas (27th District) CQ Politics November 3, 2010
  2. ^ Representative Randolph Blake Farenthold (Blake) (R-Texas, 27th) - Biography from LegiStorm
  3. ^ Draper, Robert (April 1992). "The Blood of the Farentholds". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Blake Farenthold ancestry
  5. ^ Blake Farenthold Campaign Website, Accessed on November 3, 2010
  6. ^ Appel, JM. The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, 2012
  7. ^ Wilson, C. Novel Notes. Spotlight on Fiction. 6 Jan 2013.
  8. ^ Farenthold Ousts Ortiz in Tight Race, Accessed on November 3, 2010
  9. ^ a b "2010 General Election, Election Night Returns, Unofficial Elections Results As Of: 11/3/2010 12:14:58 PM". Texas Secretary of State. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  10. ^ Bill Maher's Campaign To Find The Worst Member Of Congress Is Underway by Chris Gentilviso, 23 March 2014, The Huffington Post
  11. ^ http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe
  12. ^ Hendricks, Dave (4 November 2014). "Farenthold retains congressional seat". Corpus Christie Caller Times. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Bresnahan, John (16 December 2014). "Ex-spokeswoman sues Blake Farenthold, alleges discrimination". Politico. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Millionaire slain; Found on beach". The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA). Associated Press. 7 June 1972. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Draper, Robert (April 1992). "The Blood of the Farentholds". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Siegel, Elyse (16 October 2010). "GOP Candidate Blake Farenthold Targeted After Being Caught in Ducky Pajamas With Scantily Clad Women". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Solomon P. Ortiz
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 27th congressional district

2011 - Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Renee Ellmers
R-North Carolina
United States Representatives by seniority
286th
Succeeded by
Stephen Fincher
R-Tennessee