Former Austin Mayor and 2002 Democratic candidate for Attorney General Kirk Watson wants to run for the State Senate seat currently held by Gonzalo Barrientos. For now at least, he's saying he'll only do it if Barrientos retires.
Watson, slated to become a partner Aug. 15 with the law firm of Hughes & Luce, said of Travis County's 20-year incumbent Democrat, Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos: "If the senator retires, I'm running."
Yet Watson, 47, said he hasn't decided whether to make a direct challenge to Barrientos, 64, for the District 14 seat that covers much of the county.
"I would certainly want to talk to him first about that kind of thing. I believe the senator, having served as long as he has, and out of respect for the office and him, deserves to have room to make decisions on his own," Watson said.
Barrientos has said he won't settle his plans until after lawmakers finish special sessions on public schools and taxes. Members are nearly two weeks into a second 30-day session on the topics.
"After trying to do the work on these special sessions, perhaps I can have a little breathing room to make some decisions," Barrientos said last week, adding that he's thankful that voters have favored him for so long.
[Ben] Bentzin, a former Dell Corp. executive [who ran against Barrientos in the 2002 general election], said he has no plans to run next year. He and other Austin Republicans said they haven't heard yet of GOP candidates gearing up to run in the Democrat-leaning district.
"It's very important Republicans field a candidate in this race," Bentzin said.
Oh, and the best vote-getter in SD14 in 2002? That would be Kirk Watson, just nosing out John Sharp. Food for thought if it comes to it.
Also spotted by BOR's Damon McCullar.Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 03, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack