Texan running for GOP leadership spot

Roger Williams/Facebook

Texas Rep. Roger Williams is running to lead House Republicans’ fundraising operation in the 2018 cycle, he told The Hill on Wednesday.

“I’m running for NRCC chair,” Williams said in an interview, referring to the National Republican Congressional Committee. “I have experience raising money. Period. Going back to George W. Bush and Rick Perry.

{mosads}“What I do best is raise money. I think that is the best way I can help my colleagues.”

Williams, who owns a car dealership and represents a safe district between Dallas and Austin, has been buttonholing GOP colleagues, urging them to back his leadership bid. He described the response as “fantastic,” adding he has time to hit the road and raise cash with his grown children taking over the family business.

It’s not the first time Williams, a two-term House member and former Texas secretary of state, has eyed the NRCC job. In 2014, Williams contemplated challenging incumbent NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) but ultimately decided against it.

With Walden stepping down after the November election, Williams and others are looking to move up the ladder. While Williams is the only publicly declared candidate for the NRCC gig, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) has also been reaching out to colleagues about the fundraising post.

Stivers is one of three of Walden’s deputy NRCC chairmen and leads the committee’s Patriot Program, which focuses on protecting vulnerable Republicans in tough races. Walden’s other two deputies, Reps. Ann Wagner (Mo.) and Richard Hudson (N.C.), aren’t expected to run.

In his pitch to colleagues, Williams is touting his extensive fundraising experience. He served as deputy finance chairman for George W. Bush’s Texas gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998; co-chaired Bush’s Eagles fundraising program in 2000; and chaired campaigns for Sen. John Cornyn and former Gov. Rick Perry, both of Texas.

He’s now backing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential bid.

“No one has the fundraising background that I have. … Don’t forget, I’m a car dealer!” William said. “When people see me coming they go to lunch at 9 o’clock.

“We have a great product to sell, and that’s what I’m going to sell. We’re selling conservative values.”

House Republicans will hold internal leadership elections, including for NRCC chairman, shortly after the November general election.

Tags John Cornyn Roger Williams Ted Cruz

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