, Corbin, KY

Local News

September 12, 2012

Williamses announce they’re divorcing

CORBIN — By Ronnie Ellis / CNHI News Service

Kentucky Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, and his wife, Robyn, announced Monday they plan to divorce.

The announcement came via email from Williams’ press spokeswoman and included statements from both David and Robyn Williams.

Robyn Edmonds Williams, who earlier this year said she was considering a race for attorney general, blamed the breakup on the pressures of their political lives.

“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 said in the emailed announcement. “We have, for the sake of ourselves and our families, decided to part ways amicably.”

David Williams ran unsuccessfully in 2011 for governor, winning the Republican primary but losing badly to incumbent Democrat Steve Beshear in the general election. Robyn Williams frequently campaigned at her husband’s side during the 2011 race and appeared in campaign commercials for David Williams. Late in the campaign, she was featured in one ad and often spoke at campaign events.

During the governor’s race, Robyn Williams’ stepfather, Terry Stephens, contributed just over $4 million to independent campaign committees supporting Williams’ election and to Williams’ own campaign fund.

“Robyn has decided to take her life in a different direction,” the statement quoted David Williams as saying. “I greatly admire her and appreciate the time we have spent together. I wish her only the best in her future endeavors.”

Robyn Williams is a former district judge for Russell, Wayne and Clinton Counties. She was appointed to the bench in 2004 by then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher. She served through 2010 but chose not to run for another term on the bench.

Earlier this summer, Robyn Williams confirmed to the Lexington Herald-Leader she was contemplating a run for attorney general. She told the newspaper then that David Williams was “my best friend in the whole world” and she was confident of his support whatever political decision she made.

She continued to praise Williams in the statement released Monday.

“I have the greatest respect for David as a man, a husband, a father and a political leader, and I always will,” Robyn Williams said. “As this current chapter in our lives comes to an end, it is with the fondest reassurance that we begin a new chapter marked mutually by a deep and close friendship.”

Robyn Williams went on to request privacy for her and her husband and her two teenaged children.

Williams was previously married to the former Elaine Grubbs. The two divorced in 2003, the same year Williams subsequently married Robyn Edmonds.

David Williams has served as President of the Republican controlled state senate since 2000.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at

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