WIUM Tristates Public Radio

West Central Illinois Lawmaker Resigns

Nov 15, 2012

Jim Watson

A lawmaker from the tri states is stepping down -- just days after he won re-election.  

State Representative Jim Watson (R-Jacksonville) said 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.

Watson's final day in the General Assembly will be December 3.  He's been a lawmaker for more than a decade, so he said the decision to leave was a tough one to make.

"It's a bittersweet thing, but... it's time." -Watson on his decision to step-down

"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," Watson said. 

Watson called the decision to close the Jacksonville Developmental Center his most heartbreaking loss professionally. 

Republican county chairmen in the legislative district will decide on a replacement for Watson. 

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio