GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- Drue Bynum is known for his respectful demeanor and no-nonsense leadership -- values he's latched onto during his time as Grayson County judge.
"I've always been able to sleep good at night because I knew the decision that I make, albeit, not always popular, the decision I make was made from the heart," Bynum said.
It was that passion, his frustration with the political climate and a conversation with an old West Point classmate that led him to run for public office in 2005.
"I was on a typical rant one evening on the phone with him and he said, 'Why don't you do something about it?' and I kind of laughed and said, 'Yeah, whatever.' But at the end of the day, I really did start praying about it," Bynum said.
Now, two elections later, Bynum is ending his run as county judge for the same reason he ran in the first place.
"I do still share many of the complaints that I had nine years ago, which is ironically one of the reasons that I'm not seeking election again," Bynum said.
Bynum says he's discouraged by what many politicians have become.
"The founding fathers, those men who wrote the Declaration of Independence, served eight years and went back to the farm or the business that they had," Bynum said.
Now he, too, will go back to the farm.
"I've got an international agri-business that hopefully I'll be able to pour a little more time into, and we'll see where it goes from there," Bynum said.
Bynum says, as judge, he's most proud of his work on economic development and emergency management, and he feels the county is better now than when he took office.
"I do feel like I've poured my life blood into it and I'm proud of that," Bynum said.