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Oklahoma Rep. Wes Watkins to Retire

December 31, 2001

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Republican Rep. Wes Watkins says he will not run for re-election in 2002 and blames Democrats for planning new districts that would cut him off from his constituents.

Watkins said ``every map being discussed by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature″ places his Stillwater residence outside the 3rd Congressional District he represents.

Oklahoma will lose one of its six congressmen in 2002 because census figures show its population did not grow as fast as other states. State lawmakers have not yet come up with new congressional districts.

Watkins, 63, said he does not want to move or run in a district in which he doesn’t live. He also doesn’t want to run against a fellow incumbent Republican.

Watkins held the seat from 1977-91, then headed an investment company in Stillwater. He was elected again in 1996 and was re-elected twice. He serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.

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On the Net: http://www.house.gov/watkins

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