(TEXAS TRIBUNE) – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, is exploring a run for Texas attorney general, weighing a late entry into the already crowded primary to unseat GOP incumbent Ken Paxton.

He announced his plans during an event Tuesday morning in Tyler that was surrounded by confusion. He had been set to make a “very important” campaign announcement there, and while a live broadcast of the announcement did not work, a website surfaced around the same time that claimed he was making an “exploratory” effort in the race. The Texas Ethics Commission said afterward that it received a new campaign treasurer appointment from Gohmert for an attorney general run, one of the first formal steps someone has to take to vie for state office.

A person who attended the event, Aditya “AD” Atholi, confirmed that Gohmert said he was looking at running for attorney general and talked about how “Paxton had financial and moral issues, so it’s possible a Democrat could beat him.” Atholi, a Republican candidate for Gohmert’s seat in Congress, said Gohmert also said he would move forward with an attorney general campaign if he can raise $1 million by Nov. 19, which the website also suggested.

News of Gohmert’s potential candidacy comes four days before candidate filing opens for the 2022 primary — and as Paxton already faces three primary challengers well-known in Texas politics. They include Land Commissioner George P. Bush, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and state Rep. Matt Krause of Fort Worth.

A website purporting to be about Gohmert’s exploratory effort said Texas needs an 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.” That is a reference to the FBI probe that Paxton has prompted over claims from former deputies that he abused his office to aid a wealthy donor. Paxton has denied any wrongdoing.

Paxton also has been battling a securities fraud case since his first months in office in 2015. He has denied wrongdoing there as well.

Paxton’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Gohmert’s possible challenge.

Gohmert is known as one of the most far-right Republicans in the Texas congressional delegation.

A staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, Gohmert filed a far-fetched lawsuit asking former Vice President Mike Pence to challenge Joe Biden’s legitimacy as president-elect.

The public rollout of Gohmert’s exploratory committee was messy. He had been scheduled to be in Tyler at 11:30 a.m. to make what was billed as a “very important campaign kick-off announcement.” Around noon, his campaign’s Twitter account tweeted a live broadcast that did not work. After the purported campaign website surfaced on social media, he did not respond to calls and a text message seeking comment.

Gohmert’s district’s office referred questions about the announcement to a campaign email address, which did not respond to multiple messages.

The URL for the website about the exploratory effort is not the same as one for another Gohmert campaign website, which still says he is running for Congress.

The more recent website says Gohmert “needs 100,000 citizens to send $100 each (or any other amount to get to $1,000,000) by November 19.” However, the product of 100,000 and $100 is $10 million, not $1 million.