Roger Williams' bid to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate took giant steps forward Monday when the Weatherford Republican received the endorsement of former President George H.W. Bush.
Williams embraced the blessing of Bush on the same day that two potential rivals for the party's nomination took steps to enter the race.
"Roger Williams is a good man, a wonderful friend and an accomplished business leader who still understands what it means to meet a payroll and create jobs," Bush said. "I have no doubt Roger will be a great senator for our state, our country and our future."
Hutchison announced last week that she would not seek re-election next year.
Though the endorsement is not surprising, considering Williams' relationship with the Bush family -- cultivated through his years as a key fundraiser for the state and national campaigns of former President George W. Bush -- it's still very significant, said Allan Saxe, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.
"This is a big boost for him," Saxe said. "The Bush name still carries great popularity in the state.
"If nothing else, it will get him statewide name recognition. None [of the potential candidates] have that. This is a big one."
Among those potential candidates is Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, who hinted Monday that he was getting ready to enter the race. On Twitter, he told supporters that he couldn't directly answer questions about his intentions, "But get ready!! People get ready!"
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