State Rep. Eric Watson announced he will not seek re-election to the seat he has held since 2006, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Friday.
Watson, a Republican from Cleveland, currently serves as chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He said he’ll instead run for Bradley County sheriff, the Times Free Press reported:
Watson told an overflow crowd at his annual lawmaker luncheon that he will not seek re-election to the District 22 seat he has held since 2006. Instead, he said, he intends to challenge incumbent Jim Ruth in the May Republican primary.
“I’m proud of my accomplishments in Nashville, but I will not seek another term,” Watson told an audience of supporters that included state House and Senate colleagues, other elected officials and prominent Bradley County Republicans.
“More and more, I’ve realized we have problems closer to home – problems that cannot be properly addressed from Nashville,” he said in a 20-minute speech interrupted more than a dozen times by applause.
Watson worked for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years.