Richard Williams, a former constable in Victoria County, has announced his intent to run for Victoria County tax assessor-collector in the 2020 election as a Republican candidate.
Williams, 48, was born and raised in Victoria County. He said he plans to run for the position to bring new ideas, a new vision and leadership experience to the tax office.
He is the second person to announce intentions to seek the GOP nomination for the county job. On Monday, Ashley Hernandez, assistant chief deputy in the tax assessor’s office, announced her intention to run for the Republican party nomination.
Tax Assessor-Collector Rena Scherer announced she plans to retire at the end of her term in December 2020.
“This is all I know, this is my community and I want to find ways to make it better and give back to it,” Williams said. “I think my new ideas and drive for the office would benefit Victoria County and its constituents.”
Williams was first appointed constable in Victoria County Precinct 1 in 2012. In a runoff election, he lost renomination to the office by a narrow margin in 2016 to Jesse Garza. Garza later was tried and found not guilty of sexual assault, but guilty of official oppression, which is defined as a public servant’s abuse of power to sexually harass someone.
Losing the election didn’t halt Williams’ plans to continue serving the county. After he lost, he said, he “did some soul searching” and thinking about his next step, and knew he wanted to continue “service work,” a path he knows well.
Williams is a United States Army veteran and his previous law enforcement experience includes work at the Gonzales, Welder and Port Lavaca police departments. Currently, he works as a deputy fire marshal with the Victoria County Fire Marshal’s Office at the Victoria Regional Airport complex.
“I want to put forth my different experiences and education and give back to community and find a new place to serve in this community,” he said. “Working as tax assessor would be an opportunity to do that.”
Williams has an associate degree in criminal justice and said he has always been good with numbers. He said he knows how to be a leader, a skill he greatly credits to leading soldiers in the military, and knows the value of planning ahead. He said he has the necessary administrative skills for the job and knows how to “take the reigns and do everything you can to make an office better.”
If elected, Williams said he also wants to “bring a new friendliness to the tax office.” People aren’t always happy to be dealing with taxes, he said, so he would work to make it friendly and open to the community.
Williams said he has received “a great deal of positive feedback” from residents about his intent to run for the position.
“I’m thankful for the support I’ve already received about my plans to take on this new challenge,” he said. “I’m confident I’m prepared for it.”