For John C. Watkins, the family business, Watkins Nurseries near the Chesterfield-Powhatan county line, has been around through five generations. John is chairman of the board. But the other family business is politics, Watkins' great-grandfather, J. B. Watkins, was himself a Virginia senator for three terms. John Watkins, 63, served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1982 to 1998, when he moved onto the Virginia Senate in 1997. He has been re-elected three times. His district now includes Amelia and Powhatan counties, as well as portions of Chesterfield, Cumberland, Goochland and Henrico counties, and of the city of Richmond. Watkins is a conservative Republican. For the most part, however, we stayed away from politics and talked instead of change, including the new mega-shopping center on part of what had been family land near the intersections of Midlothian Turnpike and State Route 288 in Chesterfield. We talked in the Lite 98 studios.
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