|Samuel Philip "Phil" Wilson|
106th Texas Secretary of State
July 1, 2007 – July 6, 2008
|Preceded by||John Roger Williams |
|Succeeded by||Hope Andrade|
|Born|| October 5, 1967|
Place of birth missing
|Spouse(s)||Kristen Kincaid Wilson (married 1992)|
|Alma mater|| Hardin-Simmons University|
Samuel Philip Wilson, known as Phil Wilson (born October 5, 1967), is a former Texas Secretary of State, the state's chief elections officer, with service from from 2007 to 2008. He was appointed effective July 1, 2007, by Republican Governor Rick Perry. Wilson was the 106th person to hold the position and the fifth individual to have served since Perry assumed the governorship in December 2000. On June 11, 2008, Wilson announced his resignation, effective July 6, to "pursue other opportunities." Wilson became senior vice president for public affairs for Luminant, an electric energy company.
Wilson was reared in Brownwood in Brown County in central Texas, where his father, Samuel Wilson, was a professor at the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom at Southern Baptist-affiliated Howard Payne University. Wilson graduated in 1990 from Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history. He thereafter received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in University Park outside of Dallas. At Hardin-Simmons, Wilson received the "Tomorrow's Leaders Today" Award and the George Skiles Anderson Award as the outstanding male graduate. He was also named to Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, and he was a founding member of Theta Alpha Zeta.
In addition to handling election matters, the Secretary of State is the governor's liaison with Mexico and the state's officer of protocol. The office serves as the formal repository for official and business records, publishes government rules and regulations, and attests to the governor’s signature on official documents. As secretary of state, Wilson continued to serve as Perry's designee on the Texas Enterprise Fund ($185 million) and the Emerging Technology Fund ($200 million). He also led the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism. "Phil’s new role will allow my office to coordinate with the Office of Secretary of State in a seamless way to expand trade, economic development, emerging technology initiatives in the private sector and higher education, and workforce development," Perry said in a 2007 press release.
While the deputy chief of staff, Wilson oversaw the governor’s initiatives in economic development, job creation, federal funding, military base realignment and closure, and policy development. Under Wilson's leadership, the Enterprise Fund leveraged $10 billion in capital investment, along with the creation of 45,000 jobs. Wilson also led public relations and media strategies for the $20 million annual Texas tourism campaign.
Wilson was Perry's communications director in 2002 and 2003. Prior to 2002, he was an aide for nearly a decade to Republican U.S. Senator Phil Gramm. He was the East Texas Gramm director based in Tyler and then the state director anchored in Dallas. He also did a stint as communications director for Republican former Texas Railroad Commission]] Charles R. Matthews.
Democratic state Senator Kirk Watson of Austin, an unsuccessful candidate for state attorney general in 2002 against Greg Abbott, termed his rival's appointee as "extremely competent. He works hard; he knows his business; he's a real straight shooter."
Wilson was succeeded as Secretary of State by San Antonio businesswoman Esperanza "Hope" Andrade, a previous Perry appointee to the Texas Transportation Commission. Wilson was preceded in the office by John Roger Williams, a businessman from Weatherford in Parker County, who also stated in his resignation announcement that he intended to "pursue other opportunities.. Wilson was previously Perry's deputy chief of staff. Perry personally swore Wilson into office as Secretary of State.
Wilson resides in Austin with his wife, the former Kristen Kincaid, whom he married in Tyler in 1992. They attend the non-denominational Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, pastored by the Reverend Tim Hawks. Wilson has apparently recovered from two bouts of cancer. He said that fighting the disease taught him never to give up on the implementation of his goals.
In 2014, Wilson became general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority/ After Hurricane Harvey, he worked beginning in 2018 on an interim basis to provide housing assistance for flood survivors meeting the guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Land Commissioner George P. Bush, welcoming Wilson's assistance to his office, noted that Hurricane Harvey "devastated more than 41,000 square miles of Texas resulting in damage to homes in more than 40 counties. Thus far (spring 2018), more than 2,500 survivors have been housed in temporary units … and the PREPS (Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering) program has provided basic repairs to more than 10,000 homes through the Texas Rebuilds effort." Wilson worked on completing the short-term housing issue and encouraged local communities to develop plans for more than $5 billion in long-term housing recovery funds.
In addition to Roger Williams and Wilson, previous secretaries of state under Governor Perry were Democrat Henry Roberto Cuellar of Laredo and Republicans Gwyn Shea and Geoff Connor.
- Secretary Wilson Announces He is Stepping Down. Texas Secretary of State (June 11, 2008; no longer online).
- Lyle C. Brown et al, Practicing Texas Politics (Wadsworth Cengage Publishers, 2010), p. 330.
- LCRA's Phil Wilson to join GLO's effort to complete Harvey short-term housing mission. Texas General Land Office (March 21, 2018). Retrieved on November 17, 2019.