Massey, Bowers & Hembree LLC

Watson Named Perdue’s Chief of Staff

The Atlanta Journal Constitution: November 13th, 2003

ATLANTA, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue today tapped veteran political operative and legislative and public affairs expert John Watson as his new Chief of Staff. He will replace Eric Tanenblatt effective January 1, 2004.

John K. Watson has been active in politics, government, and business at the local, state and federal levels for more than fourteen years. He served as General Consultant to Governor Perdue’s highly-effective campaign for Governor and as Vice Chairman of Governor Perdue’s transition. He then helped form a public affairs firm -- Watson, Massey & Bowers LLC where he serves as President and Managing Principal. The company’s partners include former Georgia Attorney General Michael J. Bowers, Bruce E. Bowers, and former Georgia Secretary of State Lewis A. Massey.

"I am extremely pleased to have John rejoining my team," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "His sage counsel and his passion for making Georgia an even better place to live will be most welcome as we continue to move our state forward."

A native Virginian and a 1991 graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in Political Science, Watson began his political career as staff assistant to the Fairfax County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors.

In 1993, Watson relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, serving as former Congressman Bob Barr’s Finance Director in his first election to Georgia’ s Seventh Congressional District. Following Barr’s 1994 election, Watson was appointed District Representative, where he managed four district offices in the greater metropolitan Atlanta area.

In 1995, Watson became Finance Director for the Georgia Republican Party, achieving unprecedented fundraising objectives. In 1997, Watson joined Mike Bowers, Georgia’s Attorney General for 16 years, as Campaign Manager for the Mike Bowers for Governor Campaign.

Following the 1998 election cycle, Watson entered the business sector to serve as Vice President of Business Development for Construction Systems, Inc., where he launched a successful commercial construction division.