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State Sen. Kirk Watson to retire from Texas Senate

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State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, on the Senate floor on April 11, 2019. Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune

State Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat, is retiring from the Texas Senate.

His resignation is effective April 30, the Austin American-Statesman first reported Tuesday. Watson, who has served in the upper chamber since 2007, is leaving office to become the first dean of the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Watson, an attorney and former mayor of the city of Austin, represents Senate District 14, a historically Democratic seat. It covers Bastrop County and parts of Travis County. He was first elected to the seat in 2006, taking office in early 2007.

Watson's early departure will set off a special election to serve the rest of the term, which will end in 2023.