OP-ED: Why Williamson Won’t Seek Re-election

Posted on January 6, 2022 by REP. JAYER WILLIAMSON

As we ring in the New Year, I want to wish all of you a healthy and prosperous 2022. I also hope your Christmas holiday was filled with joy and peace. Like many of you, I used my break to spend time with family, reflect on the past year, and ponder what’s to come.
During my political career as County Commissioner and State Representative, I have always tried my best to live in the moment, not dwelling on past decisions or trying to predict what the future holds. I know this is easier said than done, especially in politics. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me, “what’s your next step?” I generally blow this off with the simple answer of, “I’m just going to live in the moment, and we will see what happens.” This answer has always been easy and the truth, at least up until the last few weeks.
Over the course of the last year, I have been approached with ideas of running for Congress, State Senate and even Agriculture Commissioner. And though I try my best to live in the moment, the future is right around the corner. As I spent this holiday season reflecting, praying and having serious conversations with my family, I realized what I wanted to run for next…nothing. I will close out 2022, serving my final term as State Representative for House District 3 and not seek re-election.
While the decision to step out of the political arena is a lot to process, the decision was surprisingly easy for me to make. Often forgotten in politics is the fact that we are all humans. We laugh, cry and bleed just like everyone else. I am a grandson, son, father, husband, uncle, nephew and brother. In the Florida Legislature, many of us also have “real jobs” that put food on our tables, and some, like me, have employees that depend on us to support their families. Unfortunately, some of the people we serve forget this.
Even worse, many of those who hold public office, at every level, have created and perpetuated a toxic political environment far removed from the fact that we are elected to serve the public. Our job is to protect the freedoms and the pocketbooks of the people who pay our salaries. We’re not celebrities or rockstars, and the goal shouldn’t be getting a blue checkmark on Twitter or likes on a Facebook post. My core philosophy on public service is the same as when I was five years old and told my grandfather why I wanted to be a State Representative – “to help people.” It’s the difference between being a show horse or a workhorse. I’ve always tried to be the latter.
I’m looking forward to finishing the 2022 legislative session strong with a number of bills and appropriations projects that I am committed to seeing through until the end. To all of you who made my dream come true, thank you! It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve you in the Florida House. However, now is the time for me to come home, spend more time with my wife, commit to growing my business and give all my attention to the greatest title I have ever received, Daddy.