ALACHUA – Former Alachua City Manager, Clovis Watson, Jr., has officially qualified as a candidate for the newly drawn House District 20 seat in Alachua and Marion counties.

Watson, who grew up in Merrillwood, has been serving the communities in Alachua County for nearly 30 years. He entered the police academy in 1983, becoming Alachua’s first African-American sergeant and later the first African-American Deputy Chief of Police. He earned an appointment as Alachua City Manager in 2002.

"My priorities in the legislature will be focused around providing real opportunities for our children – to get an education that prepares them to compete for good jobs, no matter how wealthy or poor their parents are,” stated Watson. “I will also continue to work closely with our corporate partners to bring investments and high quality jobs to our state.” He added, "I can't wait to get started, Floridians need help and they need it now."

House District 20 contains major portions of the former House District 23, but due to redistricting this district was redrawn. The area has been represented in the past by Alachua County Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut, former Representative Ed Jennings and most recently Representative Chuck Chestnut.