Watson Announces Campaign for Gregg County District Attorney


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Kilgore attorney Tom Watson announced today his intention to file as a Republican candidate for the office of Gregg County Criminal District Attorney.

Citing his energy, dedication and over 22 years of experience in law enforcement, prosecution, and litigation in Gregg County, Watson said his candidacy was to fill the need for “decisive leadership and aggressive prosecution by the District Attorney.”

“ I can promise you three things: (1) I will aggressively act to convict murderers and violent offenders in a timely fashion so that they don’t linger in our county jail at taxpayer expense (some up to five years), (2) improve teamwork and communications with all Gregg County law enforcement, and (3) represent Gregg County in court as a fearless and effective prosecutor.”

The 47-year old Watson is a 2002 graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler and a 2007 graduate of Texas Tech School of Law. His legal career began in 2007 when District Attorney Bill Jennings recruited him to be an Assistant Criminal District Attorney.

Before pursuing the practice of law, Tom spent several years as a Kilgore Police Officer under the supervision of current Sheriff Maxey Cerliano, also serving as Detective and Agent with the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force. During his law enforcement career, Tom took night courses and completed his Bachelor Degree graduating magna cum laude.

Shortly after that, Tom was encouraged by District Judge David Brabham and District Attorney Jennings to pursue a career in law.  In fact, Jennings made a phone call to the Chancellor of Texas Tech School of Law recommending Tom’s admittance.

Tom is currently in private practice with Phillips, Watson & Gilchrist, LLP in Kilgore. He specializes in civil litigation, representing individuals and businesses in commercial and real estate disputes, as well as estate planning, probate, and criminal defense matters.

Watson was born in Longview and raised in Kilgore. His wife is the former Chandra Stroupe of Kilgore. Married since 1991, they are parents of two children: daughter Carli and son Caleb who is married to the former Taylor Graham of White Oak.

Tom enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family, and especially the newest addition, granddaughter, Kirklynn Kay Watson.

The Watsons are residents of Kilgore and attend New Covenant Church in Longview where Tom has been involved in several ministries.


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