GOP challenger jumps into race after Barton's nude photo surfaces

DALLAS - Embattled U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) faces a primary challenger. 

Jake Ellzey, a retired U.S. Navy fighter pilot who did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, is the first Republican to file to run against Barton in the upcoming March  primary.

Ellzey is currently a Southwest Airlines pilot, and serves as a commissioner on the Texas Veterans Commission. He was appointed to the Texas Veterans Commission by former Gov. Rick Perry.   

Ellzey's jump into the race came just days after Barton released a statement apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media last week.

"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," he said. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down." 

Barton announced earlier this month that he would seek re-election.

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