Rancher and businessman Simon Winston doesn’t mince words when explaining why he is running for U.S. House of Representatives District 1.
He’s lived in East Texas his whole life. He said he understands and lives the conservative East Texas principles. He believes politicians are out of touch with the realities District 1 residents live each day, especially incumbent District 1 Rep. Louie Gohmert. Winston is challenging Gohmert in the District 1 Republican primary.
“Gohmert has been getting a government check for 25 years,” he said. “I don’t think he knows what the real world is.”
Winston, 57, of Lufkin, said Gohmert has busied himself with self-promotion on television and radio for the past decade. Gohmert has gone beyond ineffectiveness, Winston said, he’s been a detriment to Texas and East Texas.
“Washington D.C. is in gridlock,” Winston said. “It’s a circus up there and he’s one of the main clowns.”
Gohmert was elected to the U.S. House in 2004 and has not faced a Republican primary opponent since. His office did not return requests for comment on Winston’s statements.
Winston has never run for elected office, but said his message has been well received by business owners and residents in all 12 counties of the district.
U.S. House District 1 includes 10 counties - Angelina, Gregg, Harrison, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby and Smith and portions of Upshur and Wood counties.
Winston was tending to a mother cow about to give birth on their Nacogdoches ranch when talking to the Tyler Morning Telegraph earlier this week. He said he planned to visit Marshall, Carthage and Tyler for visits with prospective voters and fundraisers after the calf was on its feet.
He said his main focus would be domestic policy, specifically bringing manufacturing jobs back to the country by restructuring the way corporations pay taxes. He said addressing corporate taxes would bring more tax revenue into the system and incentivize manufacturers to return to the U.S.
Winston said the federal government must also address border security to prevent the illegal flow of people. He said the border is a national security threat.
“The federal government is supposed to protect us,” he said. “We’ve got to close the border.”
Watson said he would be opposed to allowing Syrian refugees into the country.
“I think better safe than sorry right now,” he said.
Watson said he would work as hard for East Texas and represent its conservative values and interests.
“I’m running because East Texas deserves better than Louie Gohmert,” he said. “He’s not getting anything done.”