David Williams And Wife Divorcing
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kentucky Senate President David Williams and his wife are divorcing after nine years of marriage, a high-profile partnership that was strained by the "rough-and-tumble pressures" of politics and his failed run for governor, according to his soon-to-be ex-spouse.
They expressed mutual respect in statements released Monday by Williams' spokeswoman at the Capitol in Frankfort.
"Senator Williams and I have filed papers to terminate our marriage," said Robyn Williams, a former district court judge.
"There are always pressures on relationships, and the rough-and-tumble pressures of the full-time political world, compounded by the immense pressures of a multi-year gubernatorial campaign, brought unique and incessant pressure on our relationship," she added.
The couple, who married in 2003, decided to part ways amicably, she said.
Robyn Williams served as a judge in Russell, Wayne and Clinton counties in southern Kentucky from 2004 through 2010.
She has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Kentucky attorney general in 2015.
In his statement, David Williams said, "Robyn has decided to take her life in a different direction. I greatly admire her and appreciate the time we have spent together. I wish her only the best in her future endeavors."
The Burkesville Republican, who wields considerable influence as the leader of the GOP-led state Senate, was trounced by Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear in last year's gubernatorial election.
Robyn Williams was outspoken at times on the campaign trail for her husband, saying the Democrat was "willing to look into a camera and lie to you about the state of affairs." Another time, she termed as "disgusting" an independent group's attack ads that depicted her husband as a big-spending Frankfort politician and a gambler.
Williams' father-in-law, Russell Springs businessman Terry Stephens, was a big financial contributor to groups supporting Williams' campaign for governor with pro-Williams TV ads targeting Beshear, according to documents filed with state and federal agencies.
Now, about 10 months since Williams' gubernatorial bid ended in defeat, Robyn Williams said she still has "the greatest respect" for Williams and said they are starting "a new chapter marked mutually by a deep and close friendship."
"We ask all to respect our privacy," she said.
The divorce filing is the latest personal setback for last year's Republican ticket for governor and lieutenant governor.
Williams' running mate, former state Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, has gotten divorced and been the subject of a scathing audit accusing him of misusing state workers and resources for personal gain since leaving office.
Farmer's one-time Frankfort home is scheduled to be sold at auction later this month to help satisfy a foreclosure lawsuit against him.