Former gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams, who finished last in the 2018 GOP primary, wrote this morning that he regrets his campaign and that he was guided by “pride, ego, and bad advice.” In May, Williams pled guilty to fraud charges that stemmed from a bizarre campaign theft allegation, and was sentenced to probation. From his public statement posted on Facebook:
I want to apologize for any embarrassment or hurt that your support of me has caused due to what has been reported in the news. I might imagine you are expecting me to call it “Fake News” or political retaliation. The truth is, much of what is being reported is correct; I did accept a plea deal, and I am guilty, but not for what I was charged.
Let me explain – I should not have run for Governor or allowed my public persona to be so drastically changed to something it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I believe unequivocally that we need a fearless conservative who supports life, our 2nd Amendment, immigration laws and enforcement and all the other issues I ran on during my campaign. I shall continue to vigorously defend and support these issues and our constitutional rights. I should have found a gubernatorial candidate whom I could support. I should have done what each of you did.
Instead, I allowed my pride, ego and bad advice, to persuade me that I had a solid chance in the governor’s race. Knowing I didn’t have the name ID, the political network or the money, I subjected my ability to mount a statewide campaign to three qualifying prerequisites that would help overcome these shortcomings.
Williams continued by noting that his campaign “became solely about doing whatever needed to be done in order to create headlines to build name ID.” Williams opted to not name-check any campaign consultants who may have dispensed some of the regrettable advice that did indeed create headlines. However, in an article that recaps both Williams’ statement today, as well as several of his campaign stunts, including a bump stock raffle in the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting and the infamous “Deportation Bus,” a repurposed school bus that was best known for breaking down on the side of the highway, the AJC identified GOP consultant Seth Weathers as the architect of the Williams campaign.
In his statement, Williams emphasizes that he did not break the law, but opted to accept the plea deal as a way of accepting responsibility for a misguided campaign, and moving on with his life: “In taking the plea deal, I accept responsibility. My wife and I decided that it was in the best interest of our family to close the door on this chapter of our life.”