Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran has filed paperwork to run for Congress to fill U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert’s seat, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The FEC website shows Moran filed a statement of candidacy as a Republican for U.S. Congress Texas District 1, a seat that has been occupied by Gohmert since 2005.

This filing was made Wednesday based on the FEC website, which comes one day before Moran is set to make announcements in Tyler and Longview about a potential 2022 run for the seat Gohmert is vacating.

In a statement Monday, Moran said there will be a “campaign announcement” at 10 a.m. Thursday at Tyler’s Plaza Tower, 110 N. College Ave., while the Longview announcement is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Gregg County Courthouse, 101 E. Methvin Street.

The First Congressional District includes Longview, Tyler and other area cities.

Gohmert, R-Tyler, is challenging incumbent Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He made his announcement in a YouTube video posted on Nov. 22 and has since filed paperwork with the state.

Moran, who has been Smith County judge for over five years, showed interest in the congressional seat shortly after Gohmert on Nov. 9 announced he was exploring a campaign against Paxton.

“Serving as judge has also provided me the opportunity to stand firm for liberty in the midst of a pandemic, work closely with counties across East Texas to support regional economic development efforts, and develop and implement thoughtful, prudent plans that make government work better for the people,” Moran said of his time as county judge earlier this month.

Moran provided a list of people who he said would support his campaign, including state Sen. Bryan Hughes, sheriffs in Smith and Gregg County, and Tyler Mayor Don Warren.

According to the Smith County website, Moran previously served on the Tyler City Council from 2005 to 2009, representing District 5. He and his wife Kyna have four children Caleb, Victoria, Juliette, and Lincoln.

Moran, a Whitehouse native and Whitehouse High School graduate, is an attorney with experience in areas of business and commercial litigation and transaction work, the county website states.

According to the Texas Secretary of State and political party websites, two Republican candidates have filed to run for Gohmert’s seat, Aditya “A.D.” Atholi and John Porro.

Atholi is a former Gohmert congressional staff member.

Porro’s website shows he lives in Dallas, which is outside Congressional District 1; however, the U.S. Constitution does not prevent him from seeking Gohmert’s seat.

One Democrat, Stephen Kocen, has filed with the secretary of state for the seat as of Wednesday, according to online records.


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I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.