Barbour names former state House member as chief of staff

By By Terry R. Cassreino / assistant managing editor
Dec. 2, 2003
Gov.-elect Haley Barbour announced today that former state Rep. Charlie Williams of Senatobia, a 24-year veteran of the state House, will serve as the new administration's chief of staff.
Barbour's unveiled his appointment during a news conference at the state Capitol. It was Barbour's first major staff appointment after winning the governor's office last month; Barbour takes office in January.
Williams, 59, was elected to the state House in 1975, where he served until January 2000. During his last eight years in the House, Williams chaired the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
Williams, a Republican, could have run for another four-year term in the state House in 1999. Instead, he waged an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1999 losing to eventual GOP nominee Mike Parker.
Some longtime lawmakers praised Barbour's choice, saying Williams' experience has the potential to strengthen the ties and smooth cooperation between the legislative and executive branches.
From 1992-1993, Williams served as chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference which includes 16 Southern states.
In 1998, Williams was chairman of the Council of State Governments, an agency that represents all 50 state legislatures and most elected and appointed state officials across the country.
Williams has extensive experience in the insurance business and has owned his own insurance agency in Senatobia. For the past 2 1/2 years, he has been the Director of Programs and Projects for Tunica County.
Williams graduated from Senatobia public schools, attended Northwest Mississippi Community College and graduated from Ole Miss in 1966. While at Ole Miss, he was a star baseball player.