June 12, 2007
Roger Williams steps down as SOS

Secretary of State Roger Williams is resigning his position as of July 1.

The car dealer from North Texas who gained notice as a Republican fundraiser was appointed to the mostly ceremonial office by Gov. Rick Perry in 2004.

Although the post has been a launching pad for future political runs, Williams gave no immediate clue as to whether he'll seek future political office.

"It's really more of a springboard. I think there's a tendency for all people to be appointed for that reason," said Royal Masset, a Republican political consultant in Austin.

Indeed, when George W. Bush was Texas governor, his secretaries of state included Alberto Gonzales, Tony Garza and Henry R. Cuellar.


As secretary of state, Williams chaired Perry's Partnership Council on Economic Development with a mission to bring more jobs to Texas. He also led missions to market Texas to companies and site selectors, and he promoted Texas exports on trips to Mexico, Canada and Japan.

"He has been a tremendous asset to the state on elections, economic development, border affairs and a host of other issues," Perry said in a prepared statement. "I am proud of the work he has done during his term as secretary of state and, more importantly, proud to call him a friend."

Brandi Grissom has the full press release.

Masset said he believes Williams would have made a "great candidate," but also said there's little opening up statewide for him to grab.

"There's no doubt in my mind that he really wanted to go for higher office," Masset said of Williams. "He really was a great speaker. He really has charisma."

Did you know that the Secretary of State - which, remember, is an appointed, not elected, office - can raise funds that can be subsequently used in a campaign? Here's Williams' TEC filing for January. He had almost $200K in the bank as of January, and I'll bet the July report shows a lot more. Williams is on the not-so-short list of GOP gubernatorial hopefuls for 2010, with Lite Gov also being in the picture. I don't know what he brings to the table that any of the others don't - less baggage, maybe (or maybe not), and better hair, I guess - but hey, as they don't quite say about the Lottery, all you need is a few million dollars and a dream. We'll see what he does. I'm fairly sure we've not heard the last of him.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 12, 2007 to Show Business for Ugly People