A Denton County judge said politics has turned him away from seeking a fourth term for the 431st District Court.

Judge Jonathan Bailey announced Thursday night before Denton County Republican officials and volunteers that he will not run for office when his term ends in 2020.

Bailey, a Republican, said he is struggling with how polarized the nation’s political discourse has become. Bailey said he does not like how judges must take and maintain office through partisan elections. So he’ll be bowing out after serving since 2011.

Judge Jonathan Bailey

Jonathan Bailey

“I do not like the direction the Republican Party is heading in,” Bailey said in a phone interview Friday, noting that “extremist” positions on the right and left “are running the country, and they’re running it into the ground.”

He said his last race left him unsettled and really made him think twice about running.

“Watching what’s happened in the country since then, I just don’t like it and I don’t think judges should be a part of it,” Bailey said.

Bailey was first appointed in 2011 to run the court. He twice won reelection and will finish his third and current term in December 2020.

He said Friday he wasn't quite sure what he'll do when he leaves office, but that it will likely be a return to practicing law as an attorney.

DALTON LAFERNEY can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @daltonlaferney.

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