Thursday, May 31, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced that James Williamson, who has served as her general counsel, will serve as secretary of state. He will continue to provide legal and policy advice as he did in the role of the governor’s general counsel, a post he was appointed to in March 2017.
Williamson, of Tulsa, succeeds Dave Lopez, who resigned as secretary of state in March to pursue personal and business endeavors. Williamson begins his new duties Friday, June 1.
As secretary of state, Williamson will serve as a senior adviser to the governor on policy, economic and legal issues. From 2010 to 2012, Williamson, a former legislator, served as senior policy analyst and chief legal counsel to then-Senate President Pro Tempores Glenn Coffee and Brian Bingman.
“James, as my general counsel, is a trusted adviser to my administration,” said Fallin. “I appreciate his legal and legislative knowledge. As secretary of state, he will be in a better position to help in my efforts to implement fiscally conservative, pro-growth and conservative policies.”
Before his gubernatorial appointment, Williamson, of Tulsa, had been in private practice since 1975. He served 18 years in Oklahoma’s Legislature, representing Tulsa in both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the state Senate.
From 1980 through 1986, he represented the southeast part of Tulsa and Broken Arrow in the state House. He was elected in 1996 to the Senate, where he represented the south central part of Tulsa and Jenks until 2008. He served as assistant floor leader from 1998 to 2002 and as floor leader from 2003 to 2004.
“I’ve enjoyed serving the governor, and am honored that she entrusted me with this added responsibility,” he said. “I look forward to having a more active role in helping her bring new jobs and additional opportunities to our state.”
Williamson earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Tulsa. He and his wife, Sandra, have four children and six grandchildren.