TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran has been declared the winner in the Republican primary for U.S. District 1 to replace Rep. Louie Gohmert in Washington D.C.

Texas Tribune called the race late Thursday night with more than 85% of the vote in.

“I’m so humbled by the support that we’ve had throughout this entire election season with my friends and family around me,” Moran said. “It’s been a team effort, it’s been a lot of work over these last 75 days. Could not have done it with so many people coming around me encouraging me and lifting me up.”

Moran announced his candidacy in December after Gohmert declared his intention to run in the Texas Attorney General primary. Gohmert had held the solidly Republican seat since 2005 and had developed a reputation as one of the most conservative members of the 435-member legislative body.

The win for Moran almost certainly assures that he will hold Gohmert’s seat after the general election in November. Gohmert averaged close to a 50-point victory every election cycle.

“I was overwhelmed by the turnout in Smith County, and the vote to send me to Congress, and it really validates everything I think we’ve been doing in Smith County,” Moran said.

Moran was appointed in 2016 as acting Smith County Judge after the previous seat holder, Joel Baker, was suspended. He was elected to his first full term in 2018.

Moran served as a Tyler City Councilmember from 2005-2009, is the founder of the Whitehouse ISD Education Foundation, the President of the Discovery Science Place Board, and is involved in several other volunteer organizations.

While the district will still have a heavy GOP tilt, it looks much different than it did the last election cycle. Redistricting after the Census moved it much further north to the Texarkana area after it had included portions of Deep East Texas for years.

Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches and Trinity Counties were moved to the 17th Congressional District, which includes Waco and College Station.

“This is so exciting, because a young child who grew up in little mobile home in Smith County right outside of Whitehouse to this day to day, it’s been a lot of work and a lot of service,” Moran said. “And that’s what this is really about– a call to serve the community.”