Vice President Cheney Rallies For Candidate

The Vice President's visit drew hundreds of supporters, all donating from $100 to several thousand dollars. Some even got their picture taken with him.   All this made for a very happy Louis Gohmert, the Republican candidate for Texas' First Congressional District.

Mr. Cheney touched down at East Texas Regional Airport around 1:55 p.m.  Supporters were not allowed to greet him at the airport, but plenty of die-hard republicans, and some of those Gohmert says are split-ticket voters donated money to see the Vice President.

Cheney praised Gohmert's time as a Tyler District Judge and a state Court of Appeals magistrate, and told the hundreds at Maude Cobb Convention Center that Gohmert was prepared for the job he faces if elected.

The Vice President also attacked the presumptive Democratic nominee, John Kerry.  Cheney referred to Kerry twice as "the junior senator from Massachusetts."  Cheney touted the Administration's policies in the global war on terror, and said America needs a true "Commander in Chief."

Gohmert says the phone call from the White House came out of the blue. The word: The Vice President wanted to campaign for him.

"It was right after the runoff, we got a call from the White House. People have wondered what strings I have pulled (to get the visit). We got the call from the White House, they were that interested in our race," he says.

The fundraising reception worked.  Gohmert's campaign war chest grew more than just the goal of $200,000, according to one of his lead staff.

Gohmert's opponent, Democrat Congressman Max Sandlin told KLTV this evening he welcomes the Vice President to East Texas, but wishes Cheney would visit nursing homes, veterans, and schools to speak about policy -- instead of fund-raising.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.