St. Louis Public Radio News
5:18 am
Mon February 2, 2009

Watson to retire from IL Senate

Springfield, IL – The former leader of the Republican caucus in the Illinois Senate is stepping away from politics entirely.

Greenville Republican Frank Watson says he'll retire in two weeks. The 63-year-old St. Louis native suffered a stroke last year while campaigning. He had previously stepped down as the GOP leader to focus on rehab, and now says he needs to concentrate on recovery full-time.

A frequent critic of former Governor Rod Blagojevich, Watson says he stuck around to "get his two cents in" during the Democrat's impeachment trial. And he says he's most proud of his involvement in a state-assisted school construction program and medical malpractice reform.

County chairman in Watson's Senate district will select his successor