Rep. Louie Gohmert will retire from Congress to run for Texas attorney general, he announced Monday night.
The Texas Republican officially said he would run for the office on Newsmax TV’s “Stinchfield” show. A video announcing his campaign to oust Republican incumbent Ken Paxton was released later in the evening.
In the campaign launch video, Mr. Gohmert explained he reached his initial goal of raising $1 million for the race.
“So I will be filing to run for Texas attorney general, a priority will be election integrity so that every legal vote counts. Though our current AG has had two terms, it seems he really started working harder after so many of his most honorable and very top people in the AG’s office left complaining of criminal conduct,” Mr. Gohmert said.
He added, “If you allow me, I will not wait to be my busiest until after there’s some bad press about legal improprieties. I’ll start boldly protecting your rights on Day One. Unconstitutional mandates will not be tolerated from anyone.”
Mr. Gohmert had said last week that he was pondering a late entry into the packed primary race to oust Mr. Paxton. He warned then Mr. Paxton’s legal issues could hurt him and the Republican Party in November.
Mr. Paxton was indicted in 2015, not long after he took office, on securities-fraud charges that are still outstanding.
More recently, the FBI began investigating him over claims by former deputies that he took advantage of his office to help a wealthy donor.
He has denied wrongdoing in both cases, while painting his primary foes as ambitious politicians who are doing the bidding of Democrats and making it harder for the GOP to hold the key office next year.
Mr. Gohmert, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, first came to Congress in 2005. A member of the House Freedom Caucus, he holds assignments on the House Judiciary and Natural Resources committees.