Kirk Watson to resign from Texas Senate

Former mayor has represented Austin area since 2007

Talk 1370 Newsroom
February 18, 2020 - 8:34 am
Texas Sen. Kirk Watson

courtesy Texas Sen. Kirk Watson's office

AUSTIN ( -- Kirk Watson, the former Austin mayor who has represented much of Austin in the Texas Senate since 2007, will resign his seat at the end of April.

Watson delivered his resignation letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday morning. He's stepping down from the Senate to take a position as the first dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

In a post on his website, Watson says it was a unique opportunity that prompted him to leave. "This is a chance to build a world-class public affairs and policy school essentially from the ground up. It is transformative work at a creative and ambitious university, located in one of the country’s largest and most diverse cities," Watson wrote.

Watson's resignation will be effective at midnight on April 30, setting up a special election to fill the remainder of his current term in District 14, which runs through early 2023. Gov. Abbott will need to call a special election, possibly as early as May 2, to fill the unexpired term.

The seat, which has been historically Democrat-held, covers the northern half of Travis County, including much of the city of Austin, and all of Bastrop County.

In addition to serving in the Texas Senate, Watson served as Austin's mayor from 1997-2001.

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