Roger Williams (American politician)

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Roger Williams
Roger Williams official congressional photo.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
February 8, 2005 – July 1, 2007
Governor Rick Perry
Preceded by Geoff Connor
Succeeded by Phil Wilson
Personal details
Born John Roger Williams
(1949-09-13) September 13, 1949 (age 69)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Patty Williams
Children 2 daughters
Alma mater Texas Christian University (BA)
Website House website

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

Williams was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1949[1] and reared in Fort Worth. He was a star college baseball player for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (TCU) from 1968 to 1971 and was selected in the 25th round of the 1971 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves. He played outfield and third base in the Braves' farm system. He reached as high as the Class A Western Carolinas League.[2] 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)

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.[3]

Perry administration (2002–2007)

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)

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.[4] 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 the U.S. House of Representatives instead.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives

2012 election

In June 2011, Williams announced that he was dropping his Senate bid to instead run for Texas' 25th congressional district seat.[5][6] Williams ranked first with 25 percent of the vote and qualified for runoff election. Wes Riddle ranked second with 15 percent and met Williams in the second round of balloting.[7] In the July 31 election, Williams defeated Riddle 58 to 42 percent.[8] In the November general election, Williams defeated Democratic nominee Elaine Henderson 58%–37%.[9]

2014 re-election

In the November 4, 2014 general election, Williams defeated Democrat Marco Montoya and Libertarian John Betz, with Williams receiving 107,120 votes (60.22%) over Montoya's 64,463 votes (36.24%) and Betz's 6,300 votes (3.54%).[10] Williams unsuccessfully challenged National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon in Walden's bid for a second term as chairman after the 2014 elections.[11]

2016 re-election

Williams won his third term in the House in the general election held on November 8, 2016, when Donald Trump carried the electoral vote majority over Hillary Rodham Clinton. Williams polled 180,988 votes (58.4 percent) to 117,073 (37.7 percent) received by the Democrat Kathi Thomas. Libertarian Loren Marc Schneiderman held the remaining 12,135 ballots (3.9 percent).[12]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political stances

Immigration and refugees

Williams supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order imposing a ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, calling it a "commonsense" measure and saying that opponents "are lost in the political correctness of this."[14]

Personal life

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.

Williams is the coach of the Republican team for the Congressional Baseball Game.[15] On June 14, 2017, he was present during a shooting attack on a practice for the game. He was taken from the area on a stretcher due to an ankle injury he suffered while jumping into the dugout during the attack.[16][17] A member of his staff was shot and taken to the hospital, where he was treated for a leg injury and released.[18][15]


  1. Cooper, Kent (2014-08-11). "Roger Williams (Texas-25)". Roll Call. Retrieved 2014-08-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Roger Williams Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 16 June 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Joel (2005-02-08). "Roger Williams for Congress | Meet Roger". Retrieved 2014-08-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "unknown title". Retrieved July 23, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wayne Slater (28 June 2011). "Roger Williams switches from Senate to House race". Trailblazers Blog. Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 18 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Alex. "Roger Williams for Congress". Retrieved 2014-08-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "". Retrieved 2014-08-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "". Retrieved 2014-08-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "". Retrieved 2014-08-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "2014 Statewide General Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Texas Secretary of State.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Center, Shira. "Roger Williams Makes Play for NRCC Chairman". Roll Call. Retrieved 31 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 22 January 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Blake, Aaron (January 31, 2017). "Whip Count: Here's where Republicans stand on Trump's controversial travel ban". Washington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 Hamedy, Saba (June 15, 2017). "Congressional baseball practice shooting: What we know about the victims". CNN. Retrieved 15 June 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Steve Scalise shot in Virginia, aides also hit". Fox News. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2017-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Congressman Steve Scalise and others shot at Alexandria, Virginia, park". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Tilove, Jonathan (June 14, 2017). "Roger Williams' staffer among those shot at GOP baseball practice". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 14 June 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Geoff Connor
Secretary of State of Texas
Succeeded by
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
Seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Ted Yoho