ENNIS — Seventeen terms in Congress has not slowed United States Rep. Joe Barton, as the Ennis resident officially launched his re-election campaign Friday.

Barton, 68, represents the 6th Congressional District of Texas with a term ending Jan. 3, 2019. The 6th Congressional District encompasses all of Ellis and Navarro Counties, as well as the southeastern portions of Tarrant County. He was first elected in 1984.

The filing period officially opens Nov. 11.

“In Congress, I have made it a priority to promote free-market principles and pass legislation to create jobs, so that more and more Americans can prosper,” said Barton in his announcement. “Much work remains in Washington and hope to carry on the torch for the 6th District. I look forward to the upcoming primary election in Texas.”

Barton was re-elected in the 2016 General Election by defeating Democratic nominee Ruby Fay Woolridge and Green Party nominee Darrel Smith. According to Ballotpedia, Barton collected 159,444 votes to the 106,667 of Woolridge and 7,185 tallied for Smith.

The longtime Congressman first disclosed his plans to run for re-election in a March 31 email to the Daily Light.

“It continues to be a tremendous honor to serve the people of the 6th District. I take this responsibility seriously, and seek to use my vote on the House Floor as the representation of the conservative values found in our community,” stated Barton in response to a challenger, John W. Duncan, announcing a campaign against the longtime congressman. “I welcome candidates of both parties to run for this seat, with competition democracy thrives. I do intend to seek reelection.”

On his official House of Representative website, Barton lists his key issues as those dealing with budget and government spending, national security, healthcare, economy and jobs, energy and environment, and transportation. Barton was recently named to the Committee on Energy and Commerce for the 115th Congress, where he serves as vice chairman. He has served on the committee since 1987 and is the 9th most senior member of the House of Representatives.

“I will continue to implement a conservative, pro-job growth agenda that empowers businesses and families, reduces regulatory burdens and encourage entrepreneurship throughout Texas," Barton stated. "I will as always continue to uphold a high level of constituent service to all those who live in the 6th District.”