Watson suffered a stroke Oct. 17 while campaigning. He stepped down as GOP leader to concentrate on recovery and now says it's best he devote full time to it.
A member of the General Assembly since 1978, Watson says he's proud of his involvement in creating a state-assisted school construction program and medical malpractice reform.
Watson was a frequent critic of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and he says he wanted to stay in his seat through the Democrat's impeachment trial, which ended Thursday with Blagojevich's ouster from office. He says taxpayers suffered under Blagojevich and "I wanted to be there to put my two cents in."