A billboard asking U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to resign in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack has popped up in Tyler.
This billboard, and similar ones across the state and country, are a part of $1 million campaign led by the Republican Accountability Project, a Washington D.C-based Republican group wanting to hold party members accountable.
The sign in Tyler is at the intersection of Loop 323 and Spur 248.
David Stein, Smith County Republican Party chairman, said he disagrees with the assertion that Cruz, Gohmert or others incited violence at the Capitol.
“I think trying to ask or force them to resign because of that, I don’t think that’s appropriate,” Stein said.
Stein thinks 99% of the people who went to D.C. just wanted to be supportive to Trump. He feels only a few people went with intentions of violence.
“I just think this things got way too much attention,” Stein said. “I would have not been motivated to storm the Capitol by what he (Trump) said.”
Stein said he doesn’t think objecting to the electors on Jan. 6 should result in anyone resigning.
“I think the people that were involved in the Capitol violence were there with that already pre-planned intention,” Stein said. “Now, is the time for the Republican Party to unite. We have an opportunity in front us.”
Olivia Troye, co-director of the Republican Accountability Project, said prominent members of Congress, including Cruz and Gohmert, should resign for their role in the Capitol attack.
The project membership believes the legislators’ objections to the election results and election fraud claims led to the eventual violence.
Troye, who worked for Vice President Mike Pence as a homeland counterterrorism and COVID-19 adviser for two years, said the billboards were set up Friday and will remain up through the end of February.
In Texas, the billboards are also in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
Troye said the purpose of the Republican Accountability Project is to hold Republicans accountable and support those who took a stand in favor of Trump’s impeachment.
“We wanted to take a stand and condemn such behavior in elected leaders,” she said. “They’ve proven they’re unfit to hold office. And so, we’re calling for their resignation.”
She said part of getting to unity is lawmakers acknowledging and taking responsibility for their actions on Jan. 6.
Troye noted Gohmert’s lawsuit against Pence that sought to get the vice president to choose which electoral votes should be counted and was later dismissed.
She said there was no legal basis for the lawsuit and no actual valid claims.
“Gohmert is directly complicit in what happened that day,” Troye said. “Words matter when you’re an elected official. People are listening.”
She added that there’s been an enormous amount of support about the billboards across the nation.
“We’ve heard from a lot of Republicans that believe that we need to get back to a principled party,” she said.
Troye said the Republican Accountability Project wants to move toward accountability and support members moving away from extreme factions of the party.
After the billboards, Troye said they plan to continue additional condemnations of such behavior from elected officials.
“I’m proud to call myself a Texan. I think the people of Tyler deserve better,” she said. “I encourage people in their community to hold Gohmert accountable and Sen. Cruz.”
Gohmert and Cruz did not respond to requests for comments about the billboards.