Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Sen. Kirk Watson District 14 (D-Austin)

Industry
Lawyer
Education
B.A., Baylor University; J.D., Baylor University
Spouse
Liz
Committees
  • Higher Education (Vice-Chair)
  • Business & Commerce
  • Nominations
  • Transportation
  • Economic Development
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Watson is a partner at Brown McCarroll, where he specializes in commercial litigation.

  • Watson has an interest in Watson Partners, Ltd., which has an interest in Old Posse, Ltd., in Austin, and Frontier Bank of Texas, which is based in Elgin.

  • He also has an interest Rust Oil Co. 1 (Elwanda) Partnership, in Fort Worth.

Property

  • Residential property in Austin valued at $809,813

  • Residential property in Pitkin, Colo., valued at $194,820 (Watson and his wife own this property along with her family)

  • 341 acres in Woodward County, Okla.

  • Residential property in Taos, N.M. valued at $189,180

  • Ranch property in Gillespie County valued at $288,750

Analysis

  • In past personal financial statements, Watson has not disclosed that he shares a business interest with a lobbyist, Curtis Fuelberg, in Frontier Bank. Watson told the Tribune that, under his interpretation of state disclosure rules, he was not required to report it.

  • Watson has been leading a campaign to build a medical school in Austin along with Central Health, which has paid Brown McCarroll more than $260,000 since May for legal work on the plan, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Watson has rejected the idea that the relationship could present a conflict, and ethics experts contacted by the newspaper found no wrongdoing.

  • He has received vacation-related gifts from Ben Barnes, the former Texas House speaker and lieutenant governor turned lobbyist, and Steve Hicks, a University of Texas regent, according to filings.