Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2004, 5th term.

Born: August 18, 1953, Pittsburg

Home: Tyler

Education: TX A&M U., B.A. 1975, Baylor U., J.D. 1977

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1982-92; Chief justice, TX 12th Ct. of Appeals, 2002-03.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Baptist

Family: married (Kathy) , 3 children

Louie Gohmert, a Republican first elected in 2004, is a devout tea-party conservative with a knack for provoking Democrats, fellow Republicans, and even the U.S. Park Police.

Gohmert (GO-mert) grew up in Mount Pleasant and got an Army scholarship at Texas A&M University, where he was class president. He went on get a law degree from Baylor University, and then served as a captain in the Army. He practiced law in Tyler and spent a decade as a district court judge. Republican Gov. Rick Perry named him chief justice of the Texas Appellate Court in 2002. He earned a reputation as a tough law-and-order judge with a knack for attracting attention. In 1996, he ordered an HIV-positive convicted car thief, as a condition of probation, to notify future sexual partners of his HIV status and to obtain written consent from them before engaging in sexual activity.

After the 2003 redistricting in Texas, Gohmert was one of six Republicans who got into the primary to challenge four-term Democratic Rep. Max Sandlin, who had a moderate voting record but was a close ally of liberal Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Gohmert led in the primary with 42% of the vote to 30% for lawyer John Graves. In the month-long runoff campaign, few differences separated the two conservatives, and Gohmert prevailed 57%-43%. Graves carried nine of the 13 counties, but Gohmert won 77% of the vote in his home base of Smith County, where half the votes were cast. In the general election, Gohmert linked Sandlin to the national Democratic Party and their 2004 presidential nominee, John Kerry. The result wasn’t close. Gohmert beat Sandlin, 61%-38%, with 79% in Smith County.

In the House, Gohmert established a conservative voting record, with occasional dissents from the party line. When the bailout for the financial industry came to the House floor in 2008, he made a motion to adjourn the chamber “so we don’t do this terrible thing to our nation.” It was defeated 394-8. And when the House voted in 2012 to remove the archaic word “lunatic” from laws referring to the mentally ill, there was one dissenting vote— Gohmert’s. “Not only should we not eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy, we should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington,” he said.

Gohmert has little regard for President Barack Obama. In 2013, he sought to amend a bill to block Obama from using federal funds to play golf until he reinstated White House tours that had fallen victim to budget cuts. But Gohmert also has tangled with House Speaker John Boehner. In the usually pro forma election of a speaker by the majority party in control of the House, Gohmert refused to vote for Boehner in 2013 and instead voted for Allen West, a Florida Republican and fellow firebrand who had just lost his House seat.

In 2012, he drew criticism from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after Gohmert joined several Republicans in accusing a top State Department official of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He called McCain a “numbnut,” and later apologized, but, he said, only for using the word “numb.” In March 2013, Gohmert reportedly had a tense encounter with the Park Police—one officer described him as “rude and irate”— after getting ticketed for illegally parking his car at the Lincoln Memorial. He argued that being a House member allowed him to park in an official space.

Gohmert’s legislative work has been mostly on the Judiciary Committee, where he often draws television talk show invitations and scorn from liberal blogs for his provocative views. He drew widespread attention for his appearance on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show in August 2010 to discuss “terror babies”—an alleged effort to send pregnant women into the United States to give birth to children eligible for U.S. passports who could be trained to carry out attacks. Cooper pressed Gohmert to offer proof. “Had somebody done this in your courtroom, you would have asked for evidence, and you have none,” Cooper said. An irate Gohmert replied: “This isn’t a courtroom. We’re trying to protect America.”

No friend of gun control laws, Gohmert once declared that guns are necessary to protect the United States from “Sharia law.” After the mass shooting at Aurora, Colo., movie theater in 2012, he said it was part of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and wondered if an armed patron could have intervened. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is pro-gun control, called the statement “one of the more nonsensical things you can say.”

Gohmert has never been reelected with less than 68% of the vote. Former Smith County GOP chair Marcia Daughtrey told the Texas Tribune in 2012 that constituents admire his challenges to political correctness. But his penchant for stirring controversy may be a concern for GOP leaders. When House Republicans selected Judiciary subcommittee chairmen in January 2011, they passed over Gohmert to give James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the gavel of the crime and terrorism panel. He also lost a challenge to Ohio’s Jim Jordan for the chairmanship of the Republican Study Committee, the caucus of House conservatives.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3035

(202) 226-1230

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2243
Washington, DC 20515-4301

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3035

(202) 226-1230

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2243
Washington, DC 20515-4301

DISTRICT OFFICE

(903) 561-6349

(903) 561-7110

1121 East Southeast Loop 323 Suite 206
Tyler, TX 75701-9660

DISTRICT OFFICE

(903) 561-6349

(903) 561-7110

1121 East Southeast Loop 323 Suite 206
Tyler, TX 75701-9660

DISTRICT OFFICE

(903) 236-8597

(903) 553-1972

Gregg County Courthouse Suite 302
Longview, TX 75601-7200

DISTRICT OFFICE

(903) 236-8597

(903) 553-1972

Gregg County Courthouse Suite 302
Longview, TX 75601-7200

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 632-3180

300 East Shepard Avenue Suite 210
Lufkin, TX 75901-3252

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 632-3180

300 East Shepard Avenue Suite 210
Lufkin, TX 75901-3252

DISTRICT OFFICE

(903) 938-8386

102 West Huston Street
Marshall, TX 75670-4038

DISTRICT OFFICE

(903) 938-8386

102 West Huston Street
Marshall, TX 75670-4038

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 715-9514

101 West Main Suite 160
Nacogdoches, TX 75961-4830

DISTRICT OFFICE

(936) 715-9514

101 West Main Suite 160
Nacogdoches, TX 75961-4830

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 8060
Tyler, TX 75711

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(903) 939-1101

PO Box 8060
Tyler, TX 75711

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Acquisitions

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Aerospace

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Commerce

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Education

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Environment

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Finance

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Health

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Housing

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Intelligence

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Internet

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Labor

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Privacy

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Science

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Whitney McMahon
Senior Legislative Assistant

Technology

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Austin Smithson
Legislative Director

Transportation

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Andrew Keyes
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Louie Gohmert
Votes: 178,322
Percent: 71.43%
Shirley McKellar
Votes: 67,222
Percent: 26.93%
2012 PRIMARY
Louie Gohmert
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Louie Gohmert
Votes: 129,398
Percent: 89.73%
Charles Parkes
Votes: 14,811
Percent: 10.27%
2010 PRIMARY
Louie Gohmert
Votes: 54,478
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Louie Gohmert
Votes: 189,012
Percent: 87.58%
Roger Owen
Votes: 26,814
Percent: 12.42%
2008 PRIMARY
Louie Gohmert
Votes: 49,035
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (90%), 2008 (88%), 2006 (68%), 2004 (61%)

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