After 26 years of public service, Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon is announcing that he will not seek a fifth term in office. Hon said in an emailed statement that the decision came “after much prayerful consideration and discussion” with his family.
“At the conclusion of my current term in 2022, I will have been associated with Polk County DA’s Office for 26 years. I will have served four terms, or 16 years, in my elected position — the longest serving District Attorney in the history of Polk County. As an assistant prosecutor, I was blessed to work for John S. Holleman who was the best mentor a young prosecutor could ever hope to have,” Hon said.
He added that as DA, he has been fortunate to have three fantastic first assistants — Joe Martin, Kari Allen and Beverly Armstrong— who made the job a lot less stressful than it might have otherwise been.
“Throughout, I have been honored to work with DA staff who are among the most dedicated public servants I have ever known. Prosecutors who have worked in this office have gone on to have very successful careers in other DA’s offices or in private practice. I am glad to have had some small part in their professional development and later success. I want to thank all of them for their dedicated service to this office and the people of Polk County,” Hon said.
Serving in the DA’s office for 26 years, Hon has seen people who were living at the absolutely lowest point in their lives.
“Both as victims and offenders. That is hard. It colors your perspective of the world and people around you and in many respects gives you a cynical outlook on life and humanity. Because of my abiding faith in Our Creator, I know there are many wonderful loving, giving and caring people in this world and especially in this community. I am ready to reengage with them in a more normal capacity and with a more optimistic perspective on life,” he said.
He expressed appreciation to the other people with whom he has worked closely over the years, including Sheriffs Billy Ray Nelson, Kenneth Hammack and Byron Lyons; and exceptional police chiefs like Dennis Clifton and James Riley, each contributed greatly to the interests of law enforcement in the county and the pursuit of justice. “It has been an honor to work with each of you. To County Judges John Thompson and Sydney Murphy, and all the county commissioners who have supported this office over the years, thank you. To all of the dedicated deputies and police officers I have worked with and who give of themselves so selflessly, I am humbled to have been entrusted to see your cases through in our efforts to obtain justice and create a safer Polk County. To State Representatives James White, Dan Ellis and the late John Otto, and U.S. Congressmen Brian Babin and Kevin Brady, thank you for helping us on so many criminal justice issues that were important to our county. To all of the other wonderful DA’s, prosecutors, and investigators around the state who have become lifelong friends, and to the leadership of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association, y’all are awesome and the best of the best. To the members of the Republican Party of Polk County and the voters who supported me, please know that I am truly humbled to have been entrusted with this office and allowed to carry the banner of our party as a conservative elected official. I did my best. Finally, to my wife Nancy and my family, my children Caroline, Will, Carson and Matthew, thank you for sharing me with the people of this county and those who I have served. On some level, I hope that you understand that your sacrifice of my family time influenced the lives of others in a positive way and perhaps, in some small way, made this community a better place to live,” he said.
Hon intends to serve out the remainder of his current term in the same manner and with the same commitment that he has approached every other day of the job.
“I do not know for sure what my future holds in store. In the days, weeks and months to come, I will prayerfully consider what professional and personal options are best for my family and myself. In my judgment, there are very few professional callings and responsibilities greater than to be a ‘public servant.’ In my career, I have had a lot of success. I have also had some failures along the way. I know I have helped many people to the best of my ability. In other circumstances, I know I fell short. Nevertheless, I have always taken my oath and my responsibility as District Attorney very seriously and did my best to do what is right and ‘see that justice is done.’” It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve you,” he said.