by Ross Ramsey
Enlarge Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at TribLive on January 27, 2011. Michael Williams is officially out of the Senate race and in the race for a new congressional seat based in Arlington. He said earlier this month he was considering a switch, and now that the Legislature has approved congressional redistricting maps that include the new district, he’s filing papers with the Federal Election Commission moving from the Senate contest to the race for Congress. Williams quit the Texas Railroad Commission after 13 years in April to focus on his federal ambitions. Last Friday, he told Tarrant County Republicans that he was moving to the congressional race and this morning, he posted a letter on his website to the same effect. Though he’s had a fulltime job in Austin for more than a decade, he says Arlington is his home. From the letter: “Donna and I have lived in Arlington, Texas for nearly twenty years since returning home from Washington after working for Presidents Reagan and Bush. Our home has been drawn into one of the four new congressional districts, CD33. The district is anchored by Arlington and includes Parker County, and parts of Wise and Tarrant counties. My parents live here as does Donna’s mother. We love Arlington and are proud to call it home. And I hope to have the opportunity to represent my family and neighbors in Congress.” Williams had been one of a crowd of Republicans hoping to succeed U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has decided not to seek reelection next year. That field still includes a number of declared and interested candidates: former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams, Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and state Sen. Dan Patrick.