Roger Williams surpassed opponent Wes Riddle in Tuesday’s runoff by a 22,649 to 16,627 vote as of 9:40 p.m. with 128 of the 192 precincts reporting to secure the Republican nomination for the Congressional District 25 race. Williams now moves on to face Democratic challenger Elaine Henderson in November’s general election.
Whomever wins, November’s election ensures a new congressman or woman for Johnson County. This because redistricting moved the county out of CD-17 and into CD-25. U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, will continue representing Johnson County until January at which point his district, CD-17, will no longer include Johnson County.
“We’re doing great tonight,” Williams said about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday shortly after the race had been called. “It’s a great night for our staff and a humbling night for me. I’m humbled by the size of the victory. We ran on a Christian, conservative pro business and entrepreneurial message and focused on issues and solutions and it looks like that’s what the voters wanted to hear.”
Taking nothing for granted, Williams said the race remains ongoing.
“We’ve still got to continue on and win in November,” Williams said. “We need people from the private sector now with real world experience to fight against the Obama agenda that’s been jammed down our throats.”
With 127 of the 192 precincts in CD-25 reported, Riddle said he was not yet prepared to make a final statement on the race.
“We’re still watching the returns coming in, which has been a disappointing trend from our standpoint,” Riddle said.
Riddle watched returns with supporters and campaign workers, all of whom he said he was very proud of.
“We worked hard on this race for over a year,” Riddle said. “I believe we had an outstanding ground game and think we ran a wonderful, authentic and truly grass-roots race. I believe we did a great job overall but it was simply not enough to overcome the sizable resource disparity between myself and my opponent.”
The race for the CD-17 Republican nominee proved at times long, confusing and contentious. With the newly reconfigured CD-25 creating essentially an open seat, 12 Republican contenders jumped in the race. Controversy over redistricting further complicated matters. Redistricting maps, as approved by the Republican dominated state legislature led to protest and court cases on claims that the redrawn district lines unfairly diluted minority voting among other things.
That controversy several times pushed the Texas primary date forward and, on a local level, caused confusion as to whether Johnson County would move to CD-25 or remain in CD-17.
The primary, which was finally held in May, ended with none of the 12 congressional candidates securing enough votes to avoid a runoff.
Williams, a long time business owner, also served as Texas’ 105th secretary of state, having been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.
Williams said he joined the race because he’s concerned about the direction the country is heading in. Throughout the campaign Williams said business people with real world experience are needed in Washington, D.C., now more than ever.
Williams said he plans to fight for lower taxes, less government, defense of the U.S. borders and spending cuts among other things. Williams said the Bible and U.S. Constitution will guide him throughout his term.