Brian Douglas Williams (born May 5, 1959) is the current President of the United States. A Nationalist, Williams also served as Governor of New York from 2003 to 2010. Prior to serving as Governor, Williams served a single tour of duty in Brazil as a first lieutenant in the United States Army (1981-1983) and was honorably discharged, and was a New York state prosecutor from 1986-1991 and State Senator from 1991-2003, serving as Majority Leader of the Senate and by proxy Temporary President of the Senate from 1999-2003. He represented the same Rochester-based district throughout his term. Politically, he is regarded as conservative-leaning but moderate, and his record as Governor of New York is seen as being socially liberal and fiscally conservative.
Assumed by some to be a potential 2008 Presidential nominee after winning the 2006 New York Gubernatorial election by a broad margin, Williams stayed out of the race after a long speculative period when he announced in a press conference in Albany that he would fulfill his obligations to the State of New York by completing his second and final term. Williams officially formed an exploratory committee in early December 2010 as his term neared expiration and became the second Nationalist to officially announce his candidacy in February 2011, placing him as the immediate frontrunner throughout the spring, summer and fall leading up to the 2012 primary season. On March 13, 2012, Williams clinched the 1,240 delegates necessary to become the presumptive nominee of the National Party by sweeping high-stakes winner-take-all contests in three delegate-rich states (Florida, Illinois and home-state New York).
Education and Military Career
Williams attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and graduated with honors in 1981 with a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering, initially intending to go into engineering work. Upon his commencement, he decided instead to end his draft deferment and volunteered for the U.S. Army, requesting a position in the Corps of Engineers. Commissioned as a First Lieutenant following training throughout late 1981, Williams was dispatched to the 8th Army Division and assisted with repair work on damaged bridges, roads and military bases that came under attack in Colombia during Brazilian airstrikes. He was wounded in an air raid on Camp Seaborn in April of 1982. He was rotated home in 1983 after an 18-month deployment and completed his two-year CoE contract shortly thereafter. In the spring of 1984, he was accepted to CUA Law School, where he completed a Juris Doctor in 1987.
Early Political Career
Williams began working at the Rochester office of the New York Attorney General in 1987 after receiving his degree, allegedly having been helped in his procurement of this position thanks to his relationship to then-Virginia Senator Robert Forster, a CUA Trustee who was friends with then-New York Attorney General Henry Kind. Williams spent three years working as a Monroe County Prosecutor and declined a promotion to become District Attorney George Edkins' Chief of Staff.
Williams decided, after declining the Chief of Staff position, to run instead for State Senator in the vacated 32nd Senate District, which surrounded Rochester. With the help of Edkins and Kind's political connections and fundraising abilities, he was elected at the age of 31 to the New York State Senate. As State Senator, he quickly emerged as a popular, young and moderate Nationalist, emboldened to take back the moderate terrain in the state after landslide Democratic victories in New York at both the state and national level in 1990 and 1992 - in fact, Williams was the only Nationalist in New York to win a vacant seat in the 1990 election, one in which the National Party lost control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time since 1962. Williams helped act as State Senate Campaign Chairman for the National Party in the 1994 election, in which he won his district with 56% of the vote and helped the Nationalists regain the Senate. Following this success, he was elevated to Senate Majority Whip under Majority Leader Russell Eskrew.
Eskrew, in 1998, decided to leave the Senate to run for Attorney General, elevating Williams to Majority Leader and Temporary President of the Senate once his term expired in 1999. Williams sparred with young new Governor Andrew Cuomo, becoming a major public figure after having been mostly known in legislative circles in Rochester and Albany. After Cuomo's legal battles with Eskrew damaged the two men expected to contend in the 2002 Gubernatorial race, Williams emerged as one of two Nationalist frontrunners, the other being former Attorney General Henry Kind.
2002 New York Gubernatorial Campaign
Williams was unsure about whether or not to enter the campaign initially, concerned that popular New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani would run. However, Giuliani decided in late 2001 not to enter the race, leaving Williams running against the 70-year old Kind, a longtime stalwary of New York state politics.
In the Nationalist primary, Williams and Kind faced conservative activist James Padillo, who finished third but managed to suck off enough support from Kind to place Williams in a strong position. Giuliani endorsed Williams in a surprise move at the party convention, denying Kind the momentum he needed to head back into first. Williams won the party's nomination on the first ballot.
With Giuliani, Eskrew and later Kind all vigorously campaigning for him and with moderate credentials in a typically liberal state, Williams entered the election as an alternative to the unpopular Cuomo, who was viewed as desiring instead the Presidency as opposed to his current office and being disconnected from much of upstate New York, which trends conservative. Williams, with the support of a well-funded campaign thanks to Wall Street donors and a disciplined staff, eked out a win over a Democratic incumbent in a typically Democratic state in a bad year nationwide for Nationalists.
Governor of New York 2003-2010
Williams was inaugurated Governor of New York in the State House in Albany on January 1, 2003.