U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) announced he had formed an exploratory committee for a primary challenge of Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R). Gohmert said he needed to raise $1M in the next 10 days to enter the race for AG (Lean R). To put that in perspective, he has raised just over $1.5M for his congressional campaigns since 2017.

The announcement came hours after what appeared to be a fundraising website for the race began spreading on social media. The site, gohmert.net, was registered two days ago.

He becomes at least the fourth Republican to announce plans to challenge Paxton, joining Land Comm. George P. Bush (R), former Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman (R) and Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth). The fundraising website’s content suggests Gohmert’s campaign will focus on Paxton’s ongoing legal and ethical issues, charges that Paxton denies.

Gohmert was first elected in 2004. Should he run for AG, his decision to vacate CD1 (Safe R) would create a scramble among East Texas officeholders and candidates. Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) said he is “prayerfully considering our next steps as a family in light of” Gohmert’s announcement.

GOV (Likely R): Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) is “ready to share my plans,” according to a Facebook ad asking people to sign up for his mailing list. Those plans are expected to include a challenge of Gov. Greg Abbott (R). His November entry into the race would be the third earliest of the last seven presumptive frontrunners for the nomination:

  • December 6, 2017 – Lupe Valdez launches campaign, resigns as Dallas County Sheriff
  • October 3, 2013 – Wendy Davis announces
  • December 4, 2009 – Mark White announces
  • July 28, 2005 – Chris Bell announces in email to supporters
  • September 4, 2001 – Tony Sanchez announces
  • November 17, 1997 – Garry Mauro announces

No Democrat has won the governor’s race since Ann Richards in 1990.

HD26 (Likely R): Rep. Jacey Jetton (R-Richmond) announced he would seek re-election.

HD93 open (Likely R): Fort Worth council member Cary Moon announced he would seek the seat being vacated by Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) as a Republican. Former Southlake Mayor Laura Hill (R) is already in the race. Moon will continue to serve until a successor is elected.

HD116 (Safe D): Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) announced he would seek re-election and not run for Congress. He had been considering a run for open CD35.

TBD: Houston political consultant James S. Burnett established a campaign committee for an undetermined state office. He is a special project coordinator for Harris Co. Comm. Rodney Ellis (D) and president of the Harris Co. Young Democrats.

CD11 (Safe R): Former President Trump endorsed U.S. Rep. August Pfluger (R-San Angelo).

Tarrant County: District Atty. Sharen Wilson (R) announced she will not seek re-election.

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