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Gohmert announces official campaign for Texas attorney general
  • Updated

After announcing he was considering a run for Texas attorney general earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert said Monday he will challenge incumbent Ken Paxton in the March Republican primary.

Gohmert, R-Tyler, announced his plans to explore a campaign for attorney general on Nov. 9 during an event and through a campaign website. He delivered his official announcement on Monday night just before 8 p.m. via a YouTube video.

With the website (gohmert.net), Gohmert asked for 10,000 people to send $100 each by Nov. 19 to reach $1 million. The website said, “that amount to start with will allow a state-wide campaign to have a chance.”

“It’s my honor to let you know that we’ve reached our initial goal of raising $1 million in order to start a run for Texas attorney general,” Gohmert said in the video, thanking donors for allowing a “proper start” to the campaign but noting more funds will be needed.

If elected, Gohmert said he will start “boldly protecting” Texans’ rights on Day 1.

“Unconstitutional mandates will not be tolerated from anyone,” he said. “Parental consent is still an important concept in America, and especially in Texas.”

Gohmert said one priority of his will be to secure the state’s southern border, adding “the invasion has to stop.”

Another top focus will be election integrity, he said, “so that every legal vote counts.”

“Changing voting laws by anyone but the legislature is also unconstitutional,” Gohmert said. “Our AG (Ken Paxton) was suing other states, as I would have, but he failed to ensure Texas abided by the same constitutional provisions that he was suing the other states for violating.”

Earlier this month, the Texas Ethics Commission said it had received a new campaign treasurer appointment from Gohmert for an attorney general run, according to the Texas Tribune.

Gohmert has served in the U.S. House representing the First Congressional District — which includes Longview, Tyler and other area cities — since 2005.

The website noted that Paxton has been accused of bribery by some of his office’s employees.

“We need a Texas Attorney General whose top attorneys working for him have not found it necessary to send a letter to the FBI urging an investigation into corruption of their boss,” the website stated. “This is not at all like Obama loyalists working in the Trump administration who worked to get rid of Republican President Trump. It is true that the current Texas Attorney General filed some popular Republican-favored lawsuits, especially in the last year after the latest ethical, moral, and criminal allegations against him arose from his top staff.”

Other Republican candidates who have officially announced a challenge against Paxton in the primary include Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, state Rep. Matt Krause and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. Democratic challengers are Rochelle Garza, former attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union; Joe Jaworski, attorney, mediator and former mayor of Galveston; and Lee Merritt, civil rights attorney.

IN REMEMBRANCE: Procession of East Texas law enforcement, emergency vehicles honors UT Health paramedic who died on duty

A convoy of emergency and law enforcement vehicles honored UT Health paramedic David Eads with a special procession into Tyler on Monday morning.

Eads, who died in a wreck last week while on duty, was remembered for his dedication to the EMS field as dozens of ambulances, police, fire and other emergency vehicles traveled from Forney to escort Eads to his final resting place.

The procession traveled along U.S. Highway 80, Interstate 20, U.S. 69, Loop 323 and Old Jacksonville Highway, ending at Stewart Funeral Home in Tyler where services will be held for Eads’ family and friends.

Eads, 42, of Frankston, joined UT Health East Texas EMS in December 2020 serving the Tyler and Smith County area as a lead paramedic.

Eads was known as a “dedicated paramedic” who touched “countless lives” for over 24 years, UT Health said last week in a statement.

“David was the kind of person that made you feel better simply by being around him,” said John Smith, CEO of UT Health East Texas EMS. “He had a way of making those around him better because of his huge heart for EMS and concern over his patients.”

UT Health East Texas said Eads’ death is a tragic loss and is felt across the entire organization. The unit designation 809 will be retired and removed from service in his honor.

Smith County's active cases of COVID-19 rise slightly
  • Updated

Smith County’s active cases of COVID-19 increased by 4% since Thursday’s Northeast Texas Public Health District report, breaking a continuous downward trend. Community spread levels of the virus, on the other hand, dropped by more than 10% since Thursday, keeping the county in minimal spreads.

Smith County saw 53 new total cases — 26 confirmed and 27 probable — reported in Monday’s data. There are now 554 total active cases within the county, as opposed to the 531 total active cases reported Thursday. At the beginning of the month, there were over 1,000 total active cases within the county.

Additionally, one more county has joined Van Zandt in being the only two counties in NET Health’s seven-county jurisdiction to reach moderate spread levels of the virus after all counties simultaneously dipped down to minimal spreads of the virus last Monday. Wood County’s spread level, now at 13.80, is higher than Van Zandt, which previously saw the highest spread level in the district but now is at 11.86.

Of the five counties remaining in minimal spreads, Smith’s level dropped from 8.59 to 7.67, the second highest only to Henderson and Anderson counties, both sitting at 5.69. Rains County’s level of 1.14 remains the lowest in the district.

The minimal community spread window consists of a rate of between zero and 10 and indicates evidence of isolated cases or limited community transmission, that cases are underway and that there is no evidence of exposure in large, congregate settings. The level of community spread is determined by taking the average number of all COVID-19 positive cases from the previous seven days. That number is then divided by the population of the county and multiplied by 100,000.

Just two months ago in the week ending Sept. 23, each county had levels of community spread that were substantial — or 35 or more new cases per week adjusted for population.

Throughout the month of October, there were 1,913 new COVID-19 cases reported within the county compared to September, in which new cases totaled 8,351, according to NET Health data. There have been 37,076 COVID-19 cases in the county since the pandemic began.

According to NET Health, there were 63 East Texans being treated for COVID-19 at Tyler hospitals on Thursday. The last time Smith County saw a similarly low local hospitalization rate was in late July. Thursday’s data is 83% lower than the hospitalization rate of 389 reached two months ago in Tyler.

One Smith County jail inmate had an active diagnosis of COVID-19, according to NET Health’s data on Monday, and one inmate has died due to COVID-19.

On Monday, there were 89 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state’s 19-county Trauma Region G, approximately eight fewer than there were on Thursday. Of COVID patients hospitalized, 29 of those are in ICUs and 23 patients are on ventilators. In the first half of September, hospitalizations reached 822, the highest number of single-day COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region since the pandemic began.

In Smith County, 51.93% of people age 5 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 45.84% of people age 5 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

State data shows 84.13% of people 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose on Monday, while 77.99% of that population had been fully vaccinated.

As of Nov. 4, children 5 to 11 years of age are included in vaccination numbers and rates.

Other Counties

Gregg County had 76 confirmed active cases and 74 probable active cases Monday. Confirmed recoveries were at 8,934, while there were 10,057 probable recoveries, according to NET Health. Gregg County remains in the minimal spread level of the virus, at 4.14, the second-lowest level in the seven-county district.

Henderson County had 97 confirmed active cases and 54 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 6,241, and there were 3,347 probable recoveries in the county, NET Health said.

Van Zandt County had 74 confirmed active cases and 69 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 4,610, and 3,349 people had likely recovered in Van Zandt County, NET Health reported.

Anderson County had 21 confirmed active cases and 49 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 2,541, and probable recoveries were at 2,945, the health district reported.

Wood County had 71 confirmed active cases and 49 probable active cases, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries in Wood County were at 3,457 with 2,927 probable recoveries, NET Health said.

Rains County had 9 confirmed active and 7 probable active diagnoses, NET Health said. Confirmed recoveries were at 722with 771 probable recoveries, according to NET Health.

Data gathered in Monday’s report represents the past 96 hours, from noon Thursday to noon Monday.

Bible verse: 11.23.21

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

(Colossians 3:15)