Frank Watson (politician)
|Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 51st district
January 12, 1983 – February 16, 2009
|Succeeded by||Kyle McCarter|
July 26, 1945 |
St. Louis, Missouri
|Profession||pharmacist and business owner|
Frank Watson (born July 26, 1945) was a Republican member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 51st district from 1983 to 2009, and served as Senate Republican Leader before he resigned that position in late 2008 for health reasons. He was Assistant Majority Leader from 1993 to 2002, and previously served as a State Representative from 1979 to 1982.
Watson received a bachelor of science degree in Pharmacy from Purdue University. After becoming a registered pharmacist, he took over his family's business, Watson's Drugstore, in Greenville. In 2006, the Watsons sold the store. The Watsons had been operating the pharmacy in Greenville for over 100 years, since early in the 1900s. Watson and his wife Susan, a former kindergarten aide, have two children. They live in Greenville, where he grew up.
In the state Senate, Republican Watson has often refereed the "rancorous" relationship between Senate Democrats and Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich with the help of House Republican Leader Tom Cross.
Watson disagreed with Blagojevich's 2003 plan to mortgage the state's Chicago office building, the James R. Thompson Center, for $200 million over 10 years to raise funds for that year's budget hole. Watson said he was "really troubled by this" and noted other debts the state had taken on that year, such as a $10 billion bond to shore up state pension funds.
In October 2008, Watson suffered a stroke which was reported to be very minor. On November 4, 2008, he sent a letter to the Republican Caucus stating that he would not seek re-election for the Senate Minority Leadership.
In February 2009, Watson announced that he would resign his Senate seat effective February 16, 2009; Watson said that due to his stroke, he could not effectively carry out his duties for his district. GOP county chairs of the nine counties that make up Watson's district will vote on a replacement for Watson in the Senate. Watson said: "I've come a long way in my recovery, but have a long way to go. That's not fair to my constituents."
- "Watson Resigning From State Senate". The Greenville Advocate. February 3, 2009.
- Illinois General Assembly - Senator Biography
- Allan H. Keith, Historical Stories: About Greenville and Bond County, IL. Consulted on August 15, 2007.
- Bernstein, David (February 2008). "Mr. Un-Popularity". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- "Senate GOP leader criticizes mortgaging of Thompson Center". Chicago Sun-Times. 2004-02-14. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- Illinois Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson suffers stroke
- Rich Miller
- "Watson Returns to Senate For A Day". The Greenville Advocate. November 27, 2008.
- "State Senator Frank Watson Resigns from Senate Will Focus on Health". WGEL. February 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- Illinois Senator Frank Watson official website
- Illinois General Assembly - Senator Frank Watson (R) 51st District official IL Senate website
- Follow the Money - Frank Watson
- Project Vote Smart - Senator Frank Charles Watson (IL) profile
- Illinois Senate Republicans - Frank Watson profile