Watson for State Senate

Travis County Senator strikes himself off gubernatorial candidate list

Guess this is him announcing that he's running for senate, then
Guess this is him announcing that he's running for senate, then

"I will run for re-election to the Texas Senate in 2010."

With these words, Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, has taken himself out of contention to run for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Speculation has been rife about a run for the mansion ever since Senate Democratic Leader Leticia Van de Putte name checked the former Austin mayor (coincidentally, in her own announcement that she was standing aside). There have been rumors about Watson paying for polls out of his back pocket, and the campaign-pro scuttlebutt has been that there wouldn't be an announcement either way before September. But today Watson gave two reasons why he wants to stay in Senate and will run for his seat again in 2010. First, he likes being there (and he's turned into a fairly major force under the dome in a single term) and second, that his youngest son is entering high school, and that being on the gubernatorial campaign trail would make him an absentee father, which he doesn't want to be.

Watson's full statement after the jump.

Decisions, Decisions

Friday, August 14, 2009

There’s been a lot of speculation about my plans for the next election. Well, I’ve decided what I’m going to do, and I want to announce it to you all first.

I will run for re-election to the Texas Senate in 2010.

Countless conversations and a ton of consideration went into this decision. It comes down to two primary reasons.

First of all, I really like serving in the Senate and representing the citizens of Travis County. I’ve found a lot of success in the legislature, and I believe my service there is tangibly helping Texas and its people. I have a strong role to play in building a legislative agenda that benefits everyday Texans, and in solving the difficult budget and redistricting issues that promise to make the next session a painful and politicized one.

But more than that, I sincerely enjoyed my oldest son’s high school years because I was able to be active and present in his life. Our younger son begins high school this month. I want the two of us to share the same experience his older brother and I did, and that simply wouldn’t be as likely with me campaigning for and serving as Governor.

Despite those reasons, this has been a very tough decision. It’s hard, in part, because I believe I would win the race for Governor. I’m excited and honored by the significant encouragement I’ve received to run. Having seriously evaluated and analyzed such a race, I’m more convinced than ever that Texans want a change in the way our state government is working – and not just in the Governor’s office, but in other statewide offices and the legislature in general.

Texans are looking for balanced leadership that puts people ahead of the big insurance, utility and private toll road corporations. They want true public servants who don’t just play politics, but instead lead by responsibly investing in the state’s future.

Make no mistake: I intend to campaign aggressively for re-election and help bring new, badly needed statewide leadership into office. I’m very proud that my party is working hard to win the trust of Texas voters and is ready to replace divisive partisanship with mainstream leadership.

I look forward to continuing my service in the Texas Senate. Thank you all for your support and encouragement as we work to embrace and prepare for Texas’ future.

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Kirk Watson, Rick Perry, Election 2010, Governor's Office, 81st Legislature, Leticia Van de Putte

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