Dinner With Republican Candidate Louie Gohmert

Chris Binion, his wife, Tracie, and their kids, Chase and Haley, are setting extra seats at the dinner table tonight. The Binions just moved to East Texas 10 months ago and haven't decided which candidate would best represent them in the Distict 1 Congressional race. Tonight's dinner is a chance of a lifetime to bring Republican Louie Gohmert and his wife, Kathy, into a setting where there are no rules and all questions are fair game. With a knock on the door, the Gohmert's arrive. After blessing the food, the Binions were chomping at the bit to address the issues that could change their vote in Louie Gohmert's favor or against it. "The campaign seems to be a bit negative," says Chris Binion. "I had one lady say I'm not voting because it's so negative...and I hate that!"

"As far as the negative ads, I couldn't agree more," says Gohmert shaking his head. "In fact our latest one our commercial people put it together and I said I am a person of hope... and it's just talking about what I was accused of and what [Max Sandlin] has done, and I want it to end with hope because I am a person of hope."

Tracie Binion works in a hospital so healthcare was on her mind: "I work in the hospital," says Tracie, "so my next question has to do with healthcare. What is your outlook on that?"

"I think we're headed for a train wreck in healthcare unless we make some significant changes," Gohmert answers while holding his sweet tea. "The costs have gone up so health insurance keeps going up and we have the best healthcare in the world, in the history of mankind. But the more insurance companies and the government get between the patient and healthcare providers, the more trouble we're headed for." Gohmert adds, "I don't think there ought to be a limit if you want to put $2,600 or $26,000 in a medical savings account I think you ought to be able to do it tax free."

The Binions also make faith their top priority. Something, they believe, a good candidate should also uphold, just ask their son Chase. "How do you feel about prayer in school?," the 12 year old asks. "I think it's a good thing," says Gohmert. "I grew up in Mt. Pleasant I don't know if you know where that is, it's about 60 miles north of here and we had prayer in school and the pledge and nobody thought twice about it."

What makes Louie Gohmert a real person in the Binion's eyes is hearing from the woman who's been by his side during the year-long campaign, his wife Kathy. Chris looks at her concerned and asks, "How are you handling all this?" "It's probably the hardest thing to hear untrue things said about somebody," Kathy says. "I know what he does when the cameras are off and nobody's looking and he's a man of real deep compassion and real deep faith."

"I guess for us, what we try to do is find a candidate that best suits what we believe, how we feel and that comes off respectable, has integrity and character..." says Chris while his wife nods in agreement. Gohmert cuts in and says, "..and I've been told lots of times I am a character," making the table laugh.

And while the laughing continued, "We've got twister!," says Chris jokingly, it was time to say goodbye and digest the evening, in time to meet the next candidate.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com