Senator Kirk Watson: District 14
Education: Baylor University, B.A.; Baylor Law School, J.D.
Legislative Experience: Senate Member, 2007 - present
Kirk Watson is former mayor of Austin and has been described by Texas Monthly Biz magazine as "a man with a vision of what the community wants and the moxie to carry it out."
Watson was elected to the Texas Senate in 2006. He represents most of Travis County and all of Bastrop County in the Texas Senate. Among other recognitions, Texas Monthly magazine named him one of the state's "10 Best Legislators" in 2009. Texas Monthly has recognized him repeatedly, naming him "Rookie of the Year" in his first session (2007) and giving him honorable mentions in both 2011 and 2013. A graduate of Baylor University, Watson received the school's Pro Texana Medal of Service in 2010.
He served as chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus beginning in 2011 and continued in that position through the 2015 legislative session.
Watson's priorities center on education and higher education, health care, economic development, 21st Century energy generation, environmental protection, transportation, budget transparency, and state employees. He serves on the Senate committees overseeing Finance, Business and Commerce, Nominations, and Higher Education as well as the Joint Oversight Committee on Government Facilities.
From 1991 to 1993, Watson served as Chair of the Texas Air Control Board, the state agency that was charged with addressing air quality in Texas. He was Vice-Chair of the committee that oversaw the consolidation of the Texas Air Control Board with the Texas Water Commission creating the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
He also has served as Chair of both the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Advisory Board of Environmental Defense, and he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas. He has chaired the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the primary transportation planning agency for Central Texas.
As a cancer survivor, Senator Watson is passionate about making sure that all Texans — particularly children — have access to health care. He has been active in numerous health organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and served on the original board of what is now known as the LiveStrong Foundation.
Senator Watson graduated from Baylor University and was first in his law school class at Baylor Law School. He has been named an outstanding young alumnus of Baylor, Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year, and the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas. He is currently a partner with the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP. Senator Watson has been married to his wife, Liz, for 37 years. They have two sons, Preston and Cooper.
June 23, 2016
Statement on U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Fisher v. UT
May 13, 2016
Sen. Watson statement on the Texas Supreme Court school finance ruling
March 11, 2016
Austin leaders create engine for innovation in health and creative industries
December 17, 2015
Sen. Watson submits "campus carry" brief to Attorney General
November 4, 2015
New LCRA Water Management Plan protects Austin's water supply
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2015 Legislative Session Newsletter
| Capitol Address
| The Honorable Kirk Watson
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
(512) 463-5949 (Fax)
84th Session Committee Membership
District Analysis: District 14