Watson steps down as Senate leader

November 5, 2008 4:39:13 AM PST
The Illinois Senate's Republican leader will step down from the post after suffering a stroke. A spokeswoman says Frank Watson of Greenville will not seek re-election to a third term as the Senate's minority chief.

The 63-year-old pharmacist suffered a stroke last month while campaigning for a colleague.

Spokeswoman Patty Schuh says Watson's doctors still expect a full recovery. But he wants to make his health his top concern instead of the demands of leadership.

Watson was elected to the House in 1979 and took a Senate seat in 1983. He became minority leader in 2003.

Both parties will be seeking new leaders. Senate President Emil Jones announced his retirement this fall.

(On the Net: www.ilga.gov)


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