County Commissioner Steve Radack says he will not run for reelection in 2008.
His decision will set off a political free-for-all typical on the rare occasions when an incumbent vacates one of the powerful commissioners' seats, Radack said.
He plans to remain in office until the end of his term but will launch a second career before then.
He left open the possibility that he could go to work for a company that has done business with Precinct 3 and may seek future county contracts — matters that he said he would abstain from voting on while in office.
"I'm interested in business," he said. "Some of those businesses could be advising people on what I've learned about infrastructure. I'll use my expertise that I've gained during 16 years as commissioner."
Radack, 55, will be 59 by the end of his term, which would mark his 20th year as commissioner of Precinct 3, a vast area covering parts of southwest, west and northwest Harris County.
He then can collect a substantial pension, continue on with his second career and perhaps go into business with one of his four grown sons, he said. The commissioner's job pays $130,560.
Radack, who lives in Hillshire Village near the Katy Freeway, has been re-elected four times.
He said that Precinct 3 is a GOP stronghold and that his successor will be a Republican.
"In 2008, there will be a minimum of 10 people running," he said. "You're going to have some seasoned politicians try to be Precinct 3 commissioner."