Pro Tem Bingman names Williamson as policy advisor, legal counsel

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 19-Nov-2010

Continuing to form a circle of advisors as key Republican leadership posts are filled, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Designate Brian Bingman announced Thursday (November 19) that former Senator James Williamson, a Tulsa Republican, will be joining his leadership staff to serve dual roles as Senior Policy Advisor and Legal Counsel.

“Jim is a true statesman. Although we are in a challenging time and we are sure to face difficult decisions this session, Jim is willing to answer the call to service. His experience and knowledge will be a great resource to us as we confront the difficult issues ahead,” stated Bingman, R-Sapulpa.

Williamson was first elected to the Oklahoma Legislature in 1980 and served in the State House for six years until 1986.  He then spent ten years in the private sector as an attorney before running successfully for the State Senate in 1996.

While serving in the Senate he quickly gained the confidence of his colleagues and was elected to leadership within the Republican Caucus and retired due to term limits with the position of Republican Leader Emeritus.

Williamson garnered bipartisan support for a tax credit scholarship program which, in 2008, passed the state Senate before falling short in the House of Representatives. His advocacy the issue laid the groundwork for several education reform measures that passed in 2010, including the special needs scholarship program now known as Lindsey’s Law.

Last year Williamson served as the Senior Policy Advisor and Legal Counsel to President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee.