PORT ARTHUR —
State Sen. Tommy Williams, R- The Woodlands, announced Thursday he does not plan to return for the 2015 legislative session.
The senator said he and his wife, Marsha, have decided to “turn the page to a new chapter in our life.” He has not yet announced when his last day in the Senate will be.
The Senator will likely make that decision after meetings with Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. That decision will be based on an appropriate transition time for Southeast Texas, Gary Scharrer, Williams’ communications director, said in a telephone interview Thursday.
Though Williams did not detail his future plans, The Texas Tribune reported Thursday that Williams, a Texas A&M alumni, has been approached about a government relations position within the Texas A&M University System.
Scharrer said Williams’ office cannot confirm or deny Williams’ future plans, but that at this time no former offer has been extended the Senator from the A&M system.
“He is a proud Aggie, and in the future if something develops I am sure he would be interested in exploring that opportunity. But, right now there is no offer on the table and any speculation would be premature because he is still a member of the Senate,” Scharrer said.
Williams’ District 4 includes portions of Jefferson, Chambers, Galveston, Harris and Montgomery counties.
He is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, where he helped shape the state’s 2014-15 budget. The experience, he said, was the highlight of his legislative career.
He also serves on the State Affairs, Administration and Open Government committees.
Williams made Texas’ Monthly’s “10 Best” legislators list this last session.
In addition to his legislative duties, he is a CPA, and served as president of Woodforest Financial Services, an affiliate of Woodforest National Bank.
Williams joined the Texas Senate in 2003 following three terms in the state house.
During that time he has worked on many issues directly affecting Southeast Texas, and has had opportunity to work with the District 22 State Representative Joe Deshotel.
“He played a major role in working with me in some of the port issues on the senate side,” Deshotel said. “I always found him to be cooperative and I wish him well.
Deshotel said Williams’ resignation was quite a surprise to everyone.
Williams’ term expires Jan. 1, 2017, but until he formerly announces his resignation, the governor cannot call a special election.
“The bottom line is this action merely prepares the way for a transition for the constituents,” Sharrer said.
Because Williams unexpired term is not up for another three years, the governor will call a special election, Sharrer said.
Williams is scheduled to be guest speaker at the Greater Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon on Oct. 22.
Chamber representatives said Williams’ office indicated he plans to keep the engagement.
“I have enjoyed every minute of my service to the people of Southeast Texas,” Williams said in the Thursday statement. “Marsha and I are looking forward to concentrating on new opportunities and spending more time with our families and grandkids during this next chapter. I am especially grateful for the continued blessings of good health, a loving family and business success.”