In a letter addressed to the citizens of Newton County, Watson, who has been prosecuting attorney for the past 14 years, explained his reasoning:
To the citizens of Newton County:
Thank you for allowing me to serve fourteen years as your Prosecuting Attorney. It has been an honor and a privilege. Many of you I have served have become enduring friends. You entered my office under stressful circumstances and were always kind to me. I will be forever thankful for you. I hope my staff and I have been good public servants.
While I have been most richly blessed by the opportunity of being your prosecuting attorney, I am today announcing my resignation effective January 11, 2008. I decided some time ago that I would not seek a fifth term of office in 2010. Fresh ideas from new leadership can provide positive changes to any office. Perhaps now is the time for that to occur here.
The Newton County Republican Committee Chairman has been notified of my gratitude for their support and service to the County. They shall send their recommendation to Governor Blunt for an appointed replacement until the next general election.
As for the future, it is a wonderful thing when the opportunity comes to fulfill a lifelong dream. That has arisen for me now, and I look forward to an exciting 2008.
Happy New Year to all,