Roger Williams (U.S. politician)

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John Roger Williams
Roger williams.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 25th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Lloyd Doggett
105th Secretary of State of Texas
In office
November 2004 – July 1, 2007
Governor Rick Perry
Preceded by Geoff Connor
Succeeded by Phil Wilson
Personal details
Born (1949-09-13) September 13, 1949 (age 65)[1]
Evanston, Illinois, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Patty Williams
Children Two daughters
Residence Weatherford, Parker County, Texas
Alma mater Texas Christian University
Profession Businessman
Religion Disciples of Christ
Website Representative Roger Williams

John Roger Williams (born September 13, 1949) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Texas's 25th congressional district since 2013. Previously, he served under Governor Rick Perry as Secretary of State of Texas from November 2004 to July 1, 2007.

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Williams was reared in Fort Worth. He was a star baseball player for Texas Christian University (TCU) from 1968 to 1971 and attempted to play professionally with the Atlanta Braves farm team. He returned to Texas to coach TCU's baseball team before he embarked on a career in business and public affairs. Williams joined his father in a family automobile dealership founded in 1939.

Early political activism (1994–2004)[edit]

He served as Regional Finance Chairman for Governor George W. Bush in his 1994 and 1998 elections. He became North Texas Chairman for the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign, North Texas Finance Chairman in 2004, and National Grassroots Fundraising Chairman for the 2004 campaign. Williams was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 to be Chairman of the Republican National Finance Committee’s Eagles Program.

He has also served as State Finance Chair for John Cornyn's U.S. Senate campaign and as the National Director of the "Patriots" program for Cornyn.[2]

Perry administration (2002–2007)[edit]

Williams was appointed by Governor Perry to the Texas Motor Vehicle Board. He was nominated by Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff to the Special Committee on State Employee Compensation and Benefits.

Perry appointed Williams to be his fourth Secretary of State of Texas. As secretary of state, Williams was the Chief Elections Officer for Texas, assisted county election officials and ensured the uniform application and interpretation of election laws through the state. He oversaw the state’s efforts to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act.[citation needed]

Williams worked to promote economic development, investment, and job creation in Texas.[citation needed] He was also Perry's chief liaison to Mexico and the Border Region of Texas. In this capacity, he worked with Mexican federal, state, and local officials on common issues.[citation needed]

As the overseer and director of Texas elections, Williams's office was in the spotlight during the 2006 Texas governor's race. Independent candidate Richard Friedman (commonly known as "Kinky") successfully lobbied to have the name "Kinky" placed on the election ballot. Another Independent candidate, Carole K. Strayhorn, sought to have the name "Grandma" placed on the ballot next to her name. (Strayhorn's campaign slogan was "one tough grandma".) Strayhorn's request was denied. Friedman and Strayhorn finished third and fourth, respectively, in the election, behind Democrat Chris Bell and the winner, incumbent Republican Perry.

Williams announced on June 11, 2007, that he would leave the appointed position to "pursue other opportunities".

State Victory chairman (2007–2008)[edit]

On July 16, 2007, Williams was named chairman of the Texas Republican Victory 2008 Coordinated Campaign, which assists candidates up and down the general election ballot.[3] Republicans again won all statewide office in 2008 and gained a seat in the United States House of Representatives but lost four seats in the Texas House of Representatives and county offices in populous Harris County.

Late in 2008, Williams formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for the United States Senate seat held by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Dallas, who had formed her own committee to consider a 2010 race for governor of Texas. Williams considered a run for Senate in 2012 but decided to run for Congress instead.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2012 election[edit]

In June 2011, Williams announced that he was dropping his Senate bid and would instead run for Texas' 25th congressional district[4][5] Williams ranked first with 25% of the vote, failing to meet the threshold and qualifying for the run-off election. Wes Riddle ranked second with 15% of the vote, qualifying for the run-off election.[6] In the July 31 election, Williams defeated Riddle 58%–42%.[7] In the November general election, Williams defeated Democratic nominee Elaine Henderson 58%–37%.[8]

2014 election[edit]

In the November 4, 2014 general election, Williams will face the Democrat Marco Montoya, who in his primary on March 4 polled 11,294 votes (75 percent) of the ballots cast.[9] Williams is also planning to challenge National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden in his bid for a second term as chairman after the 2014 elections. [10]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Williams and his wife, Patty, live in Weatherford, the seat of Parker County west of Fort Worth, and have two daughters who attended TCU. He owns an automobile dealership in Weatherford. He attends the University Christian Church in Fort Worth.

Williams is a trustee of TCU and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in College Station.


  1. ^ Cooper, Kent (2014-08-11). "Roger Williams (Texas-25)". Roll Call. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  2. ^ Joel (2005-02-08). "Roger Williams for Congress | Meet Roger". Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ a b Wayne Slater (28 June 2011). "Roger Williams switches from Senate to House race". Trailblazers Blog. Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Alex. "Roger Williams for Congress". Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  9. ^ "Democratic primary election returns". Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ Center, Shira. "Roger Williams Makes Play for NRCC Chairman". Roll Call. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Geoff Connor
Secretary of State of Texas
John Roger Williams

Succeeded by
Samuel Philip "Phil" Wilson
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lloyd Doggett
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 25th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Brad Wenstrup
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Ted Yoho