U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert told a crowd Wednesday evening at a Grassroots America event in Tyler that election security and border security would be priorities if he is elected Texas attorney general.
Arriving at the decision to vacate his congressional seat took a lot of prayer and thought, Gohmert said. He may have entered into the race late, but “I had a real peace about it and this is what I’m supposed to do,” he said at the event at the Holiday Inn Tyler – Conference Center.
The Tyler Republican faces AG Ken Paxton, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman in the March primary.
In 2018, Gohmert said he voted for Paxton for the second time despite being unhappy with some of his actions. He said he had high expectations for Paxton but was disappointed to find he “was doing a lot more at that time than I knew he was doing that wasn’t a part of the job description.”
One deciding factor for Gohmert to challenge Paxton was when the attorney general’s top seven staff members told the FBI that Paxton had been “distracted” in the fall of 2020, Gohmert said.
While it is “not illegal to have an affair,” Gohmert said, it was other allegations that led to Paxton’s staff reporting him to the FBI. It was reported that after Paxton’s “girlfriend” lost her job, he found her another one with a donor who then began asking for favors.
“According to the AG staff, Paxton began allowing the AG office to be used like a personal law firm for the other guy that hired his girlfriend,” Gohmert said.
He said there was evidence of election fraud in the 2018 primary and general election, adding there was enough evidence in Dallas County to seize voting equipment, software, flash drives and more, but little was done by Paxton.
“There was evidence in the general election that there was election fraud that went on,” Gohmert said. “Having been a judge (in Smith County) for a decade and never having one of my search warrants or arrest warrants ever reversed … I know a little bit about probable cause, and it sure looked to me like there was probable cause to get a warrant.”
Paxton could have been a “national hero” by stopping election fraud, Gohmert said. There was a chance to show other states what to watch out for and “save the country from a bad result of the 2020 election,” he added.
However, Gohmert said he found out Paxton claimed there was not enough evidence for a conviction.
Along with that, Gohmert said the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled the attorney general has no authority to prosecute election fraud.
He wants the Legislature in 2023 to pass laws that give full authority to the attorney general to prosecute election fraud, along with organized crime.
As attorney general, Gohmert said he would place an assistant attorney general in each of the state’s 254 counties. They would have other priorities throughout the year, but during election season, preventing fraud would be their focus.
“We have got to secure the election at all cost,” he said.
When it comes to border security, Gohmert said he believes the Supreme Court was wrong when it ruled in an Arizona case that state and local law enforcement cannot enforce immigration. In doing so, states are not protected from “invasion,” he added.
The U.S. Constitution states, “The United States government shall guarantee every state in the union a republican form of government … and shall protect each of them against invasion,” Gohmert said.
With an open southern border, Gohmert said not only are people immigrating illegally, but cartels are bringing across people and drugs. More than 41,000 people were killed two years ago from drugs that illegally crossed the border, he added.
“If the federal government does not protect us from invasion, we not only have a right, we have an obligation to protect ourselves from invasion,” he said.
“If we don’t get things turned around in 2024, then in the years ahead our children will rise up, and they will not call us blessed but will curse our names for not protecting the freedoms and giving them the freedoms, the opportunities we had to make our own choices,” Gohmert said.
Early voting for the March 1 primary ends Feb. 25.