Blake Farenthold

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Blake Farenthold
Blake Farenthold 2015.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 27th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Solomon Ortiz
Personal details
Born Randolph Blake Farenthold
(1961-12-12) December 12, 1961 (age 55)[1]
Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Debbie Farenthold
Children Morgan and Amanda Farenthold
Residence Corpus Christi, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas
St. Mary's University
Occupation Attorney/Consultant

Randolph Blake Farenthold[2] /ˈfærənˌθɒld/ (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.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Farenthold defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Solomon Ortiz by 799 votes on election night.[6] 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.[7] His margin of victory was 799 votes.[8] Ortiz had represented the district since its creation in 1982.


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 percent.[9]


Farenthold was not challenged in the Republican primary. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Wesley Reed.[10]


Farenthold won re-nomination in the March 1 Republican primary with 42,872 votes (56 percent) to 33,699 (44 percent) for his challenger, Gregg Patrick Deeb (born c. 1964) of Corpus Christi, who formerly lived in South Carolina.[11] In the general election held on November 8, Farenthold defeated the Democrat Raul "Roy" Barrera, who had won his party nomination on March 1 with 16,140 votes (50.3 percent) over two opponents.[12] Farenthold polled 142,251 votes (61.7 percent) to Barrera's 88,329 (38.3 percent).[13]


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.[14]

Having used the Internet since the mid-1980s,[15] Farenthold received praise from the online privacy community when he introduced bi-partian legislation that would prevent states from forcing companies to weaken encryption for law enforcement purposes.[16]

Farenthold supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail Muslim immigration until better screening methods are devised. He stated “Just as we lock our doors at night, we must be cautious who we allow into our country. The countries on President Trump’s list are the same countries President Obama identified during his presidency.”[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

Sexual harassment lawsuit[edit]

In December 2014, Farenthold was sued for sexual harassment by his former communications director, Lauren Greene.[20] The lawsuit was settled out of court in November 2015.[21]

Controversy over pajama images[edit]

In 2010, images of Farenthold dressed in duck pajamas alongside women in lingerie emerged on the website Farenthold's Democratic challenger subsequently ran a political ad highlighting the unusual subject nature of the images.[22]

Electoral history[edit]

2010 27th Congressional District of Texas Elections[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Blake Farenthold 50,954 47.85
Democratic Solomon Ortiz 50,155 47.10
Libertarian Ed Mishou 5,372 5.04
Total votes 106,599 100.0
2012 27th Congressional District of Texas Elections[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Blake Farenthold (Incumbent) 120,684 56.75
Democratic Rose Meza Harrison 83,395 39.22
Independent Bret Baldwin 5,354 2.52
Libertarian Corrie Byrd 3,218 1.51
Total votes 212,651 100.0
2014 27th Congressional District of Texas Elections[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Blake Farenthold (Incumbent) 83,342 63.60
Democratic Wesley Reed 44,152 33.69
Libertarian Roxanne Simonson 3,553 2.71
Total votes 131,047 100
2016 27th Congressional District of Texas Elections[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Blake Farenthold (Incumbent) 142,251 61.69
Democratic Wesley Reed 88,329 38.31
Total votes 230,580 100


  1. ^ 112th Congress: Leading at Press Time: Blake Farenthold, R-Texas (27th District)[permanent dead link] 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 Archived November 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Accessed on November 3, 2010
  6. ^ Farenthold Ousts Ortiz in Tight Race, Accessed on November 3, 2010
  7. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  8. ^ Chris Gentilviso (23 March 2014). "Bill Maher's Campaign To Find The Worst Member Of Congress Is Underway". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  10. ^ Hendricks, Dave (4 November 2014). "Farenthold retains congressional seat". Corpus Christie Caller Times. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Republican primary returns". Texas Secretary of State. March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Democratic primary returns". Texas Secretary of State. March 1, 2016. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
  14. ^ Bresnahan, John (16 December 2014). "Ex-spokeswoman sues Blake Farenthold, alleges discrimination". Politico. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Farenthold, R. Blake (1985-10-09). "Kermit on The Source". Info-Kermit Digest. Kermit Project, Columbia University. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "House bill would kill state, local bills that aim to weaken smartphone crypto". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  17. ^ Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Millionaire slain; Found on beach". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, WA. Associated Press. 7 June 1972. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  19. ^ Draper, Robert (April 1992). "The Blood of the Farentholds". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Congressman Who Owns '' Sued for Sexual Harassment". New York Magazine. 
  21. ^ "Farenthold settles sexual discrimination suit". Houston Chronicle. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ "Race Summary Report 2012 General Election". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  24. ^ "Race Summary Report 2014 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2016-01-19. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  25. ^ "Race Summary Report 2016 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 

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
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jeff Duncan
R-South Carolina
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Chuck Fleischmann