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Roger Williams Will Run for Congress — in CD-25

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune
Republican car dealer and former Secretary of State Roger Williams in Dallas on October 3, 2011 at the construction site of the Bush Presidential Library on the SMU campus.

Former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams will join the Republican primary for a congressional seat that stretches 200 miles from the southern edge of Tarrant County to Hays County, south of Austin.

"We're excited and ready to get going," Williams told the Tribune Thursday morning, as he was preparing to file with the state GOP.

Williams initially set out to run for U.S. Senate, but switched to a race for Congress after the Legislature drew new maps. But those maps died in court, and the Weatherford Republican ended up in a district, CD-12, with an incumbent — Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth — that he didn't want to challenge.

Now he's jumping into CD-25, where the incumbent — Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Austin — has decided to move into a neighboring district where a Democrat has a better chance. Williams, a car dealer and former Texas Secretary of State, would join a pack of other candidates that includes former Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (no relation), businessman Dave Garrison, former GOP consultant Chad Wilbanks and several others.

The district comprises all or part of 13 counties; the biggest population centers are in Travis and Johnson counties. And on paper, it appears to be a reliably Republican district.

Williams, who has never run for office, lives in Parker County, but he told the Tribune that he and his wife will be looking for a house in Austin this weekend.

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