U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) will run for the Republican nomination for Texas Attorney General, he announced Monday night.
The East Texas lawmaker is the latest prominent Republican seeking to unseat his party’s incumbent in the wake of Paxton’s top deputies reporting him to the FBI last year for alleged corruption.
Gohmert announced his candidacy on Twitter Monday with a fundraising request that highlighted “the latest ethical, moral, and criminal allegations” against Paxton.
Gohmert represents Texas' 1st House district, which runs along part of the Texas-Louisiana border and includes Tyler, Longview, Lufkin, and Nacogdoches.
Despite the federal investigation and long-standing legal problems, Paxton has remained competitive in his party’s primary and won former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. The attorney general, who mounted a legal challenge seeking to overturn Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, has denied any wrongdoing.
Gohmert, 68, has also been an ardent and controversial supporter of Trump. He's been among the most outspoken members of Congress echoing the former president's baseless assertions that the 2020 election was stolen. Earlier in the administration, Gohmert was one of a handful of House Republicans who called for the resignation of special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign.
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Gohmert has not staked out major policy differences with Paxton. Rather, he said in a video Monday that he backs many of the attorney general's cases but that if elected he "will not wait to be my busiest until after there's some bad press about legal improprieties."
Also running in the Republican primary are Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and ex-state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.
State Rep. Matt Krause, who had earlier joined the primary, dropped out of the race late Monday and said he would instead run for Tarrant County district attorney.
The candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general include Dallas-area civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski and Rochelle Garza, a former lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union from the Rio Grande Valley.