On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert was uncertain about what’s next for him except that he knows he has a job to finish and said he remains committed to a few principles that were important to him when he signed up to run for Texas attorney general.
“I still and will to my dying breath fight to preserve Texas and her republic, the country, the greatest ever in terms of opportunity and individual enjoyment, assets,” he said. “There’s never anybody greater than America. There’s never been another country that fought just on the basis of what’s right and fair.”
Gohmert came up last in Tuesday’s primary in a four-way race for the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general, shutting the 17-year congressman out of the May runoff and ensuring this is his last year to serve as the District 1 representative in Congress. He took office in 2005.
“I’ve got the rest of the year to finish in Congress,” he said. “I have no idea what comes after that, but it will be trying to preserve things, really freedom, for the next generation, because I don’t believe it’s been properly preserved so far.”
He added freedom is in “grave danger.”
Gohmert said he had a goal to save Texas and feels the country has a “tough road ahead.”
“I have great hope that God’s not through with us yet,” he said on Tuesday night. “We have a chance to get back on track; we’re gonna have to do it in a hurry. I hope and pray that we will have people elected in November that will be able to lead us in that direction, but in the meantime I’ll do everything I can to help my country and be thankful to God.”
Gohmert attributed his loss to low voter turnout and to not having enough funding to finish the campaign the way it needed to be.
“There were people that were telling me that if I didn’t get more money raised,” it would be “very difficult” to win, he said. He added that a month ago a “very accurate poll” had put him in second place.
“In the interim, the other three candidates including Paxton averaged six times more money being spent than I had,” he said. “We spent what we had and that made a real difference. It clearly did. The goal was to have a runoff, to be in the runoff and on May 24 win the runoff. Everything was going good until we got closer to the election.”
He campaigned “all over the state,” he said, an experience he called “gratifying and rewarding.” In the end, though, low voter turnout shaped election results.
“We only had about 13 percent get out and vote,” he said. “That doesn’t bode well when you’re trying to right the ship.”
Gohmert said he will not endorse either of the candidates headed to the runoff for the Republicans’ nomination Texas attorney general — Paxton or George P. Bush. He continues to be concerned about Paxton’s legal troubles and about the amount of legal experience Bush has.
He said he and the other candidate who was knocked out of the race, Eva Guzman, had agreed to endorse the other if one advanced to the runoff.
“I don’t plan to endorse right now,” he said.
The day after the primary, Gohmert was pleased by a map showing he carried every county in his district and some others in East Texas.
“I also have to say one of the feelings I have as I look at the map of Texas and the counties that each candidate won — East Texas, I love East Texas,” Gohmert said. “I’ve always lived in East Texas except for my four years in the Army and I always want to live in East Texas. I love the people.”
“To carry every county in my district plus some, including where I grew up in Mount Pleasant and Camp County and Franklin County — I’m really touched deeply by East Texas. They know me best and they voted for me and carried each one of the counties. It just deepens my love and affection for the people of East Texas. This is the best place in the world to live.”