Outgoing Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is considering running next spring for an at-large seat on the Colorado Springs City Council.
Williams, a Republican who was defeated in November and will be leaving office next month, served one term as El Paso County clerk and recorder and two terms as a county commissioner before being elected secretary of state in 2014. He lost his re-election bid Nov. 6 to Democrat Jena Griswold.
Now, Williams said, he’s hunting for a job and possibly one that could mesh with a council position.
“I’ve got to find out first if they’d be OK with five days a month out of the office,” he said.
That’s about how often the council meets: two work sessions, two regular meetings and a meeting as the Colorado Springs Utilities Board of Directors.
All three at-large seats, plus Mayor John Suthers’ seat, are up for grabs in the municipal election April 2.
Williams, his wife and two sons remained in Colorado Springs after he was elected to the state position.
Some candidates — including two at-large incumbents — already have announced their intent to run, but Williams said he still has time to decide. He said his county and state experience give him high name recognition, an advantage over others.
Council members are paid $6,250 a year.
He said when he knocked on doors during his first commissioner campaign, people overwhelmingly expressed a desire for the county and city to work better together.
If he runs and is elected, Williams would be in a unique position to bolster that partnership because his wife, Holly Williams, was elected to the county commission the same day Williams lost to Griswold.
During their 32 years together, Williams said, they have been mostly aligned politically, but, when they disagree, neither is bashful about voicing their opinin.
“I literally sued my own wife as a county commissioner,” Williams said with a laugh.
The county filed that lawsuit over an eminent-domain issue with then-Gov. Bill Owens. Holly Williams, then the county’s public trustee, was named in the suit.
Williams said he doesn’t foresee any potential conflicts of interest if he were elected to the council. He would represent all of Colorado Springs, and she’ll represent a northern swath of the county that includes Black Forest and part of Monument.
If an issue came up that involved his wife, he said, he would recuse himself.
At-large Councilmen Tom Strand and Bill Murray plan to run for re-election. Also running will be former at-large Councilman Val Snider, who served from 2011-15, and Tony Gioia, an Army veteran and former county planning commissioner. Terry Martinez, former Will Rogers Elementary School principle, said he is “getting a team together” for a possible bid.
At-large Councilman Merv Bennett is completing his second term, so he can’t seek re-election because of term limits.
Candidates can’t officially file until early January. Each must submit valid signatures of at least 100 Colorado Springs voters.