Frank Watson's senate replacement ready to work

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A legislative committee names a replacement to finish out retiring Senator Frank Watson's term. The 51st Senate District Committee picked Kyle McCarter from Lebanon in St. Clair County and introduced him Saturday in Decatur at the Decatur Club.

McCarter, 46, is a married father of two sons and has been a member of the St. Clair County Board since 2000. He owns two manufacturing plants in Lebanon: Custom Product Innovations and Custom Coating Innovations. McCarter graduated with an accounting degree from Oral Roberts University in 1984, has international business experience and did missionary service in India and Kenya.

His assistant says he'll likely resign his county board post Monday and be in Springfield in coming days as the Senate goes into session.

McCarter says this is a great opportunity to serve.

"We've got a lot of hurting people in this state," McCarter said. "We've got a financial crisis where people need help and they need us to sincerely listen to what's affecting them and we need to really put in the time and effort into looking into what we can do for them."

McCarter says he's honored to fill Watson's term, which ends in January 2011. He hopes Watson will share some advice.

"I just hope he's willing to spend a lot of time with me," McCarter laughed Saturday, "because I can surely benefit from his wisdom and if I can do a fraction of the job that he has, I'll have done a really good job."

Watson served in the general assembly for more than 30 years and stepped down this month to focus on recovering from an October stroke.

The committee certified the McCarter appointment Saturday and will file the official paperwork Monday with the Secretary of State and Secretary of the Senate.

The 51st district includes the following counties: Macon, Effingham, Shelby, Moultrie, Fayette, Bond, Clinton, Madison, and St. Clair.

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