Illinois Lawmaker Headed to Private Sector

Nov 15, 2012

A west central Illinois lawmaker is stepping down, just days after he won re-election.   House Republican Jim Watson of Jacksonville says he will leave the seat to take over as Executive Director of the Illinois Petroleum Council.  The group represents oil refineries, marketers and others in the industry.

Rep. Jim Watson

Watson's final day in the General Assembly will be December 3rd.  He's been there for more than a decade. He says it was a tough decision to leave:

"It's a bittersweet thing, but on the other hand, it's an opportunity that presented itself with the petroleum council that I just felt was a good fit for me and my family. So, it's time."

- Rep. Jim Watson

Watson calls the decision to close the Jacksonville Developmental Center his most heartbreaking loss professionally.  GOP County Chairmen in his district will decide on a replacement for Watson.

Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford contributed to this report