On Tuesday, Texas U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R–TX) announced his candidacy for Texas attorney general, joining four others in the race for the Republican nomination.

The incumbent, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, has found himself at the center of controversy in recent years, prompting additional challenges from current Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and current State Rep. Matt Krause (R–Haslet).

On his campaign website, Gohmert says, “We need a Texas Attorney General whose top attorneys working for him have not found it necessary to send a letter to the FBI urging an investigation into corruption of their boss.”

Larger Primary Field Increases Likelihood of Runoff Election

Gohmert has served in the U.S. Congress since 2005 and is a member of the Congressional House Freedom Caucus. He is consistently rated as one of the most conservative congressmen by groups like Heritage Action, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and the American Conservative Union.

Gohmert served as a state district judge from 1992 to 2002, and he was appointed by then-Governor Rick Perry to serve as chief justice on Texas’ 12th Court of Appeals.

His candidacy likely will split conservative voters and activist organizations in the lead-up to the primary election currently scheduled for March 1, 2022.

The candidate filing deadline is December 13, 2021.

Another Potential Open Seat for Congress

Gohmert leaving Congress will open up yet another seat for the Texas congressional delegation. Before Gohmert announced, there were no challengers. It is thus far unclear who will vie for the seat, though it is expected that more announcements will be forthcoming.

Current lawmakers who might be interested in the seat include Republican State Reps. Matt Schaefer (Tyler), Cole Hefner (Mt. Pleasant), and Jay Dean (Longview), as well as State Sen. Bryan Hughes (Mineola).

Jeramy Kitchen

Jeramy Kitchen serves as the Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard as well as host of 'This Week in Texas', a show previewing the week ahead in Texas politics. After managing campaigns for conservative legislators across the state, serving as Chief of Staff for multiple conservative state legislators, and serving as Legislative Director for the largest public policy think tank in Texas, Jeramy moved outside of the Austin bubble to focus on bringing transparency to the legislative process.