Washington — Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert said Monday he will run for attorney general of Texas, joining a crowded field of GOP candidates looking to unseat incumbent Ken Paxton. The announcement from Gohmert, who is in his ninth term in the House, formalizes his bid for the seat after he told supporters earlier this month he was exploring a run for attorney general but needed at least $1 million to launch a competitive campaign against Paxton. Gohmert, 68, said in a video revealing he would be jumping into the race that he reached his $1 million goal and would be filing to run. “Though our current AG has had two terms, it seems he really started working harder after so many of his most honorable and very top people in the AG’s office left, complaining of criminal conduct,” Gohmert told supporters in his new campaign video. “If you allow me, I will not wait to be my busiest until after there is some bad press about legal improprieties. I’ll start boldly protecting your rights on day one.” The Texas congressman said his top priority will be election integrity, and he knocked “unconstitutional mandates,” an apparent reference to mask and vaccine requirements, as well as illegal immigration. Gohmert represents Texas’s 1st Congressional District and has served in the House since 2005. Before he was elected to Congress, Gohmert was a state court judge. Following the 2020 presidential election, Gohmert filed a lawsuit in federal court that sought to force then-Vice President Mike Pence to decide the outcome of the race, though it was dismissed. In announcing his candidacy for Texas attorney general, Gohmert will face a Republican primary field that includes George P. Bush, Texas land commissioner and grandson and nephew of the Bush presidents, Eva Guzman, a former state Supreme Court justice, and Matt Krause, a member of the Texas state House. Paxton has served as attorney general of Texas since 2015, though he has faced legal troubles across most of his two terms. Not long after he began the job, Paxton was indicted on felony securities fraud charges, though the case has stalled, and was recently accused of bribery and abuse of office by former top aides. Paxton has denied any wrongdoing, and former President Donald Trump endorsed him in his reelection bid in July.