Four-term incumbent Rep. Roger Williams squares off against Julie Oliver in Texas’ 25th Congressional District

roger williams

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Four-term incumbent Rep. Roger Williams looks to defend his House seat from Democratic challenger Julie Oliver in Texas’ 25th Congressional District.

The candidates

Williams is a former professional baseball player. Following his career playing and coaching baseball, Williams was a fundraiser for then-Gov. George W. Bush.

He worked as the North Texas chairman for Bush’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004, later becoming the campaign’s national grassroots fundraising chairman in 2004. Additionally, Williams was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2004 to become Texas’ secretary of state, a position he served in until 2007. 

Wiliams, elected in 2012, is the first Republican to represent the 25th District since its creation in 1983. In Congress, he serves on the House Committee on Financial Services. 

Oliver, Williams’ challenger, spent much of her career in the healthcare industry working on healthcare finance and taxation, including recently on Austin City Council’s board of Central Health. Her campaign platform is centered around implementing a Medicare for All universal healthcare systen, criminal justice reform, including abolishing for-profit prisons, and expanding voting rights.

Williams and Oliver originally squared off to represent the 25th District in 2018, where Williams defeated Oliver challenger by 8.7 percentage points.

An internal poll conducted for Oliver’s campaign from September 2-5 showed Williams leading her by two points, 43% to 41%. An internal poll conducted for Williams’ campaign by Remington Research Group from Septmber 1-2 showed the congressman leading by a much larger margin of 12 points, 52% to 40%. 

The district

Texas’ 25th Congressional District is located in the center of the state, encompassing a stretch of Texas’ Hill Country between Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

The district contains part of the city of Austin itself, including the University of Texas’ flagship Austin campus, and the counties of Bosque, Burnet, Coryell, Hamilton, Hill, Johnson, Lampasas, and Somervell as well as portions of Bell, Erath, Hays, Tarrant, and Travis counties.

In the 2016 presidential election, the 25th District voted for President Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 15 points in a 55-40 percentage point split of the vote, according to Daily Kos. 

In Texas’ 2018 US Senate election, the district backed GOP Sen. Ted Cruz by five points, 52% to 47%, over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. 

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Williams has raised $1.5 million for his campaign, or more than twice the amount as Oliver with $676,000. Williams also currently holds a substantial cash on hand advantage over his opponent. He has $1.26 million left to spend as the November election approaches, 14 times more than Oliver’s $90,000.

What experts say

The race between Williams and Oliver is rated as “likely Republican” by Inside Elections, the Cook Political Report, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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Source:: Business Insider


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