TYLER-The end of an era announced Tuesday at the Smith County Commissioner's Court. Sheriff J.B. Smith announced Tuesday morning that he will not seek re-election for this 10th term.
For decades, Sheriff Smith has been in charge of fighting crime and running the jail in Smith County. But now he's going to let someone else do that. He's not running for re-election in 2012, but he wants everyone to know that he still has more than two years left and he intends to serve every single one of those days.
"Mama always said leave why your still welcome back," Sheriff Smith said during a press conference Tuesday.
Surrounded by loved ones and co-workers, Sheriff Smith announced that he will be turning in his sheriff's badge on December 31st 2012.
"I will not be a candidate for this office at that time," he said.
Despite being kicked out of office once during his career, he has served the citizens of Smith County since he was first elected back in November of 1976.
And many who are close to him say they could not be prouder of what he's accomplished while in office.
"They're here for J.B. because he's been sheriff forever," Sheriff Smith's wife, Vicky Smith, told KETK. "People don't know what life would be like without him."
Though he may be retiring from his sheriff's duties, he insists there's still a lot he wants to do before he retires completely.
"I have formed an exploratory committee to look at other possibilities and that ranges from the city of Tyler to state, federal, it could be any range," he said.
And just as Sheriff Smith's next career move remains a mystery, so does the person next in line to be sheriff. Sheriff Smith did officially announce Tuesday that he will back Chief Deputy Bobby Garmon for Smith County's next sheriff.
The officials filing for this office starts in December 2011 and as of right now there is talk that there is about six people interested in running for the position.