CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - You make a lot of connections when you're the voice of Houston County. Thousands wake up to Lonnie Hunt's show on the radio, but his official title is County Judge.
"I love this community, and so I've always tried to do whatever I could do in any way I can be involved," said Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt.
After nearly 5 years, Hunt is stepping away from the courthouse. Next week, the public servant starts a new job with the Texas Association of Counties in Austin.
"He's a one of a kind leadership that's rare in politics," said Executive Director of DETCOG, Walter Diggles.
Along the way, Hunt forged friendships in all corners of East Texas.
"I found him to be a very genuine and committed elected official for the people," said Diggles.
San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson only met Hunt in January, but says his passion for service was immediately clear.
"Lonnie's won a lot of awards, and so, I got him a loving cup and just put his name on it. And, I said this is for your future honors because he's writing a new history. And, I know he's going to make Houston County proud," said Johnson.
Known as a voice of fairness, Republicans and Democrats made up the guest list at Hunt's going away party.
Although Houston County residents are sad to see their judge leave, Lonnie Hunt assures them that he'll never be too far because he does plan to keep his permanent home here in Crockett.
"It's really hard to leave, but I'm not really leaving. I'm just going to be gone during the week," said Hunt.
So for the most familiar voice of Houston County, it's not goodbye, but see you soon.