Phil Wilson (Texas politician)

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Samuel Philip "Phil" Wilson
106th Texas Secretary of State
In office
July 1, 2007 – July 6, 2008
Preceded by John Roger Williams
Succeeded by Hope Andrade
Personal details
Born (1967-10-05) October 5, 1967 (age 47)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kristen Kincaid Wilson
Residence Austin, Travis County
Texas, USA
Alma mater Hardin-Simmons University

Southern Methodist University

Occupation Businessman
Religion Non-denominational Christian

Samuel Philip "Phil" Wilson (born October 5, 1967) was the Texas Secretary of State, the state's chief elections officer, from 2007 to 2008. He was appointed effective July 1, 2007, by Republican Governor Rick Perry. Wilson was the 106th person to hold the position and the fifth individual to have served since Perry assumed the governorship in December 2000. On June 11, 2008, Wilson announced his resignation, effective July 6, to "pursue other opportunities."[1] Wilson became senior vice president for public affairs for Luminant, an electric energy company.[2]

Wilson was succeeded as Secretary of State by San Antonio businesswoman Esperanza "Hope" Andrade, a previous Perry appointee to the Texas Transportation Commission. Wilson was preceded in the office by John Roger Williams, a businessman from Weatherford, who also stated in his resignation announcement that he intended to "pursue other opportunities". Wilson was previously Perry's deputy chief of staff. Perry personally swore Wilson into office as Secretary of State.

In addition to handling election matters, the Secretary of State is the governor's liaison with Mexico and the state's officer of protocol. The office serves as the formal repository for official and business records, publishes government rules and regulations, and attests to the governor’s signature on official documents. As secretary of state, Wilson continued to serve as Perry's designee on the Texas Enterprise Fund ($185 million) and the Emerging Technology Fund ($200 million). He also led the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism. "Phil’s new role will allow my office to coordinate with the Office of Secretary of State in a seamless way to expand trade, economic development, emerging technology initiatives in the private sector and higher education, and workforce development," Perry said in a 2007 press release.

While the deputy chief of staff, Wilson oversaw the governor’s initiatives in economic development, job creation, federal funding, military base realignment and closure, and policy development. Under Wilson's leadership, the Enterprise Fund leveraged $10 billion in capital investment, along with the creation of 45,000 jobs. Wilson also led public relations and media strategies for the $20 million annual Texas tourism campaign.

Wilson was Perry's communications director in 2002 and 2003. Prior to 2002, he was an aide for nearly a decade to Republican U.S. Senator Phil Gramm. He was the East Texas Gramm director based in Tyler and then the state director anchored in Dallas. He also did a stint as communications director for Republican former Railroad Commissioner Charles R. Matthews.

Wilson was reared in Brownwood, the seat of Brown County in central Texas, where his father, Samuel Wilson, was a professor at the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom at Baptist-affiliated Howard Payne University. Wilson graduated in 1990 from Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history. He thereafter received an Master of Business Administration from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. At Hardin-Simmons, Wilson received the "Tomorrow's Leaders Today" Award and the George Skiles Anderson Award as the outstanding male graduate. He was also named to Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities and was a founding member of Theta Alpha Zeta.

Democratic State Senator Kirk Watson of Austin, an unsuccessful candidate for attorney general in 2002, called Wilson "extremely competent. He works hard; he knows his business; he's a real straight shooter."

Wilson lives in Austin with his wife, the former Kristen Kincaid, whom he married in Tyler, Texas, in 1992. They attend the Hill Country Bible Church, pastored by Tim Hawks. Wilson has apparently recovered from two bouts of cancer. He said that fighting the disease taught him never to give up on the implementation of his goals.

In addition to Williams and Wilson, previous secretaries of state under Governor Perry were Democrat Henry Cuellar and Republicans Gwyn Shea and Geoff Connor.

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Secretary Wilson Announces He is Stepping Down
  2. ^ Lyle C. Brown et al, Practicing Texas Politics, Wadsworth Cengage Publishers, 2010, p. 330
Political offices
Preceded by
John Roger Williams
Secretary of State of Texas
Succeeded by
Hope Andrade