House races

Gohmert prevails in first primary reelection challenge

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) easily survived his first primary challenge for reelection on Tuesday, after more than a decade in the House with no serious opposition.

The conservative firebrand easily avoided a runoff election after securing well more than 50 percent of the vote. With about 5 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press called the race for Gohmert with 80 percent of the vote.

Had Gohmert failed to win a majority, the top two finishers in Tuesday’s primary would have headed to a May runoff. Until this year, Gohmert had not faced any GOP primary competition since his first race for the House in 2004.

{mosads}Gohmert has become well known for attention-grabbing antics, such as mounting a longshot bid for Speaker against John Boehner last year, and frequent appearances on conservative media.

He’s also a regular fixture before the C-SPAN cameras on the House floor, delivering weekly extemporaneous speeches that Capitol Hill staffers commonly refer to as “Gohmert hour.” 

Gohmert’s two rivals argued the incumbent had become an “embarrassment” to the deeply conservative district.

Simon Winston, a rancher viewed as Gohmert’s biggest rival, said on his campaign website he was “frustrated that Congress has become such a circus, and that our representative Louie Gohmert is one of the main clowns.”

The second challenger, Anthony Culler, claimed that Gohmert failed to offer assistance with a foreclosure dispute six years ago.

At the time of the AP’s call for Gohmert, Winston had won close to 14 percent of the vote, over Culler’s 3 percent.

Gohmert’s paltry fundraising over the years thanks to the lack of serious competition created an opening for Winston, who self-funded his campaign. The most recent fundraising reports showed Gohmert had less than $200,000 in the bank.

Nonetheless, Gohmert was viewed as the favorite to win Tuesday’s primary thanks to his wide name recognition in the northeastern Texas district.

Multiple other longtime Texas Republican incumbents prevailed early in their primary races, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores and Rep. Sam Johnson.

Tags Bill Flores Boehner John Boehner Louie Gohmert Louie Gohmert Sam Johnson
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