With State Comptroller Susan Combs announcing her retirement at the end of her session in 2014, State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, is considering his candidacy for the position.
Williams said he would not begin to study the feasibility of his candidacy until the completion of the special session of the Texas Legislature, which could be sometime in mid-June. Once the special session is over, he said he would have discussions with his family and compile a group to consider his candidacy. The election for the position will be in November 2014, with the new comptroller taking office in January 2015.
"I have had a number of people around the state who have urged me to run for that office in the past," Williams said. "I wasn't interested in running against the comptroller [Susan Combs]. She's a friend of mine. But when she announced her retirement, I said, 'Maybe this is something I should consider.'"
The only CPA on the Texas State Senate and the chair of the Senate Finance Committee—the committee that recently led the compilation and passage of the 2014-15 budget—Williams believes he is qualified for the position. He said the state comptroller must have a thorough understanding of the budget and tax laws.
"I know the state budget as well as anyone in the state legislature," he said. "I think I'd be well-suited to do that kind of job."
There are a number of factors he said he would have to consider when deciding whether to run, including his position as the chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
"It's a pretty good gig being the senate chair of finance, and I have to consider that," Williams said. "It's a great spot if you want to influence the state budget and policy. This is where the rubber meets the road—the state budget."
Williams will also have to consider how his running for state comptroller will affect the employees he works with, such as his capital team and the senate finance staff. He is also the president of Woodforest Financial Services, and his four-year term on the State Senate ends in 2016. If he were elected, Williams would have to vacate his seat, and a special election would be held to replace his seat in District 4 sometime in 2015.
"Serving my constituents is something I take very seriously, and I need to get a feel from my constituents on how they would feel [about me] vacating my senate seat," he said. "You never quit caring about those people once you represent them."
Williams has been a member of the Texas State Senate since 2003. Prior to that, he served as a Texas State Representative from 1997-2002.