A conservative Texas Republican is entering the crowded primary for Texas attorney general next year.
Rep. Louie Gohmert announced his candidacy on Friday at a rally in Austin with Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Gohmert, 63, a three-term congressman from Tyler, says he brings a “tough, tough and clear conservative message” to the race. He said he will focus on law enforcement, border security and immigration enforcement.
“If we want a different path, if we want to change government from being of the people, by the people and for the people, we need leadership at the state level,” Gohmert said at the rally, organized by President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.
With a history of inflammatory and sometimes controversial comments, Gohmert’s campaign has already drawn criticism from Democrats.
In October, he said that Congress should attempt to starve Planned Parenthood of all federal funding, and in September he said those who talk about impeaching Trump are “screwing up the republic.”
The Senate and House both hold confirmation hearings for judges in November.
Texas is one of a handful of top battleground states for both parties during the 2020 presidential election. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is seeking re-election to his seat and Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, is expected to challenge him.
Texas Republicans are expected to nominate Tom “Squirrel” Pauken, a former state party chairman and Texas Department of Education trustee, for lieutenant governor this month. His nomination sets up a battle between establishment forces and more conservative activists in the party over who gets to run against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott.
Texas has 12 congressional seats and Democrats are trying to build an organization for the state’s first congressional race since 2014.