State Senator Kirk Watson steps down from Democratic Caucus Chair position

Lauren Florence

State Senator Kirk Watson announced Thursday that he is stepping down from the position as Democratic Caucus Chair.

Watson has served as Democratic Caucus Chair for more than two legislative sessions.

“I’m ready to pass the baton to the next Chair and want to do it so that the new Chair has plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming election year, convention, and then the next session,” Watson said in a Facebook post. “I deeply appreciate the honor my colleagues have given me letting me serve as caucus chairman.”

Watson served as the mayor of Austin from 1997 to 2001 and was elected to the Senate in 2006. He represents Senate District 14, which includes most of Travis County and all of Bastrop County. Watson said on Twitter that stepping down from his chair position does not mean he is leaving the Senate.

“Hang on. I’m not leaving the Senate,” Watson said in response to having his place in Senate taken on Twitter. “Just making room for new D caucus chair. Rumors of my demise are exaggerated!”

As chair, Watson led senators of the Democratic party for the past two legislative sessions, which had 11 members in 2014 and 12 members in 2013. There are 31 members of the Texas Senate, according to the Senate of Texas website.

“As chair, I’ve deeply appreciated the honor my colleagues gave me,” Watson said on Twitter. “I will continue to my advocacy in the Senate.”