Gothenburg Sen. Matt Williams announced Thursday that he will run for a seat on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents representing the western half of the state.
“The strength of Nebraska’s economy and the success of our rural families depend upon a strong and vibrant university system,” Williams said in a press release that describes him as a fourth-generation Nebraskan, business and civic leader and two-term Republican state senator.
Williams’ great-grandfather, H.L. Williams, settled in Gothenburg in the 1890s, where he farmed and ranched before starting a local bank to help families in the area have a shot at success, according to the release.
Williams grew up working on the family farm before getting his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Nebraska. He went on to pursue a career as a community banker in Gothenburg, “where he has spent decades working tirelessly to help families, farmers, ranchers and small businesses to thrive in central Nebraska,” the release says.
Williams has served since 2014 in the Nebraska Legislature. His Rural Workforce Housing bill helped spur growth in rural economies across western Nebraska.
“As a state senator, I’ve always stood up for our shared conservative values,” Williams said. “I’ve fought hard to grow our economy and invest in the next generation. Now, I ask for your support to continue that work as western Nebraska’s voice on the Board of Regents.”
The press release reads, “If elected, Williams will demand transparency, create strong public-private partnerships, support policies to retain the state’s best and brightest students, and fight to keep the University of Nebraska’s in-state tuition rates the lowest of all Big Ten institutions.”
Williams’ candidacy has received the endorsement of current District 7 Regent Bob Phares, who announced his retirement last week, effective in 2022.
“I was very pleased that Matt was willing to seek this position,” Phares said. “I have no doubt he will be a strong voice for western Nebraska and will work diligently to help lead the university system effectively. He will strive to keep the university system affordable and efficient while working to grow Nebraska’s workforce.”
Matt and his wife, Susan, have two children and six grandchildren. He continues to serve as chairman of Flatwater Bank in Gothenburg.