Michael Lawrence Williams (born May 31, 1953) is a Republican former member/chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, the regulatory body over the oil and natural gas industries. In 1999, Williams was appointed to the Railroad Commission by Governor George W. Bush. He then won a special election in 2000 and was reelected to six-year terms in 2002 and 2008. He resigned from the commission in 2011 and was succeeded by Barry Smitherman, another Perry appointee who won the Republican nomination for Williams' former seat in the July 31, 2012 runoff election.
After serving as an assistant district attorney, Williams was a prosecutor in the second Reagan Administration. In 1988, he was awarded the Attorney General's "Special Achievement Award" for the conviction of six Ku Klux Klan members. Williams would go on to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement under President George H. W. Bush and later Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights. Though he had planned to seek the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Williams instead ran unsuccessfully in the May 29, 2012, Republican primary for a seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Williams is a pro-life conservative and takes a hard stance against illegal immigration. He is a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association. In 2004 and 2008, Williams endorsed George W. Bush and John McCain in their presidential bids.
He has also served as Texas education commissioner.