Williams running fifth, final time for Taylor County commissioner

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So far, it has been a clean campaign season for the Taylor County commissioners. One commissioner, Brad Birchum, runs unopposed; and the only other open seat has just two Republican contenders: incumbent Randy Williams and newcomer Javier Villarreal.

It remains to be seen if Villarreal's campaign of "a time for change" without discussing the real issues will pay off, or if Taylor County residents will stick by Williams, with years of experience under his belt.

Taylor County Commissioner, Precinct 1, Randy Williams.
Taylor County Commissioner, Precinct 1, Randy Williams.

Nearly five decades of service

Williams currently has over four decades of experience working for Taylor County. If re-elected this fall, he will complete 48 years of service for Taylor County. While he was born in California, he is Texas through and through, and has spent the majority of his working life here.

Williams got his start with the county as a Probations Officer with particularly violent offenders. He then went on to work as a contract parole officer for what at the time was called the "Texas Youth Commission." He was then instrumental in building the then operational Juvenile Detention Center, which he went on to run for five years.

Williams was inspired to continue his life of public service by going on to run for Taylor County Commissioners Court. He was first elected to the Precinct 1 spot in 2008, and has been re-elected ever since.

From the time he became a commissioner in early 2009, he joined the Military Affairs Committee, and has been a member ever since. Here, he noted that he is tasked with protecting the rights of the citizens who live near the base, while also keeping the base's mission steady.

Williams fought to keep Dyess Air Force Base by joining the team of community leaders who went to Washington D.C. to petition for the B21 program. He was therefore instrumental in helping to solidify Dyess within the Abilene community as well as Abilene's role in the Global Strike Command.

If re-elected, one of his campaign tenants is to "promote and protect the ever-changing mission of Dyess as we welcome the new B21 bomber."


"Budget" is the word on everyone's lips this election. From incumbent Sheriff Ricky Bishop to incumbent Commissioner Randy Williams, "budget" is the hot topic that will likely decide both of these local elections.

And Commissioner Williams has the experience to back up what he stands for. With over 18 years' experience as the Deputy Chief of Fiscal Services for the Taylor County Juvenile Department, he puts his money where his mouth is. As deputy chief, he wrote high-dollar grants that allowed the country to utilize state funds to run and build facilities, all without costing the Taylor County taxpayers a dime.

Williams has also championed for salary raises for county employees. He recounted a story to Reporter-News about a secretary who previously worked in the Taylor County Commissioner's office. Through no fault of her own, this single mother of three was working full-time yet her salary was so low she qualified for food stamps. Since then, it has been Williams' mission to get proper pay for his employees and to ensure they are competitive with other similar offices.

Commissioner Randy Williams outlines his campaign at the Taylor County Republican Candidate Forum on February 5, 2024.
Commissioner Randy Williams outlines his campaign at the Taylor County Republican Candidate Forum on February 5, 2024.

His biggest goal if re-elected would be to continue to increase salaries for county workers including law enforcement. Williams noted that the Taylor County Sheriff's Office makes up about 60%-70% of the county commissioners' budget. That percentage includes funding for the Sheriff's Office, jail and courts system.

Also on his agenda is to provide the county with another ambulance in the near future. While not mandated to provide funding to rural ambulance services, the county commissioners, with the help of Williams, have provided a "good amount of money" in order to ensure that rural residents are able to receive medical care in a timely fashion.

The commissioners have also provided about $80,000 in support of the Abilene Fire Department as well — even though they are not mandated to do so. This funding has occurred while the commissioners are working with a hefty deficit, to the tune of $18 million while also renovating the old courthouse.

As a result of the recent deficit, they did increase the tax rate by $0.02 cents, but were still able to provide each of their employees with a $4,500 salary increase. To say that the county commissioners are budget wizards is an understatement.

If re-elected, Williams pledges to "continue to conserve tax dollars while maintaining a high standard of service to our community."

Early voting has begun and will continue all week. See Reporter-News coverage of the election to find out where to vote.

This article originally appeared on Abilene Reporter-News: Taylor County commissioner runs a fifth and final time