Jon Koonsman wants to become the next county judge.

Koonsman, 48, grew up in Erath County, graduated from Stephenville High School in 1987 and attended Tarleton State University - and on Monday, announced his first run for public office.

“When I heard Tab (Thompson) was retiring, I considered it. Then I was asked by a couple of people (to run) and the idea just grew on me,” Koonsman said. “If there was any job - any public office I could pick - this would be it. Erath County has been well-run for a lot of years and I’ve been a cheerleader for this county for a long time, but I want to do something more substantive.”  

He will run as a Republican. 

Koonsman currently works for David Lewis Builder - one of the state’s premiere construction companies. 

“I basically run multi-million dollar construction jobs,” Koonsman said. 

And for those of you who don’t know, Koonsman is also the reigning Handsome Hunk of Erath County, a title he won in August.

Koonsman stepped out of his comfort zone to take part in the event, which raised thousands of dollars for Meals on Wheels of Erath County.

“Meals on Wheels served my grandfather and he loved (the organization),” he said. “This was a great event and it was an honor to take part in it.”

Koonsman says his experience working in fire service since 1989 - both as a paid firefighter and volunteer - helped him become familiar with county government.

“I still do some training with the fire service,” he said. “And I have a great relationship with local law enforcement.” 

Koonsman and his wife Jennifer have two boys - Garrett Koonsman, 27, Cody Scott, 25, and daughter Brazos, 6.

Koonsman said he has always been interested in politics and is excited about this opportunity. 

“I’m an avid student of history and politics and at one time even harbored thoughts of running for state or federal office,” he said. “I eventually understood that that’s not my place. 

“My little seventh generation Koonsman just started kindergarten right here at Central Elementary. This is my place.”