In local politics, people know Herb Williams. When it comes to electing candidates and passing bond measures, no political consultant has directed so many successful campaigns.

But prominence in politics or any other endeavor does not shield any of us from the misfortunes and heartbreaks that, sooner or later, come to every life.

On Sunday, Williams answered a knock at the door and learned that his 25-year-old son, Sgt. Jesse Williams of Santa Rosa, was killed in Iraq. “Jesse had grown into one of my best friends,” the elder Williams told Staff Writer Mike McCoy on Sunday night.

On other days, there will be time for politics. For today, Santa Rosans mourn the loss of Jesse Williams and send their condolences to his family and friends.

-Pete Golis