Focus at Four: New Grimes County judge not convinced high-speed rail is good for his residents

Joe Fauth III has been sworn in as the Grimes County judge.

Fauth replaces Ben Leman, who stepped down to run for the state legislature in District 13 after Rep. Leighton Schubert announced he would not seek re-election.

Fauth has lived in the county since the early 2000s. He says economic growth is an important issue he plans to focus on.

"It's important to us to preserve our history, but on the same token we need to be pursuing our future," said Fauth.

Texas Central Partners has a plan for Grimes County's future: to put a high-speed rail through the county, connecting Houston and Dallas.

Fauth says he's unconvinced a high-speed rail would be good for his residents.

"It could provide us economic growth, but in the long term, is it a good investment?" said Fauth.

Fauth says he hasn't seen research that conclusively supports high-speed rail as a boon for Grimes County, but he's "open-minded" if those studies do come out.

"If it was a good thing, we'd embrace it," said Fauth. "But all the research I've seen does not show that it's an economically viable package."

Mostly, Fauth says he's focused on what already makes Grimes County great.

"People who are still looking for a taste of country and country living gravitate toward Grimes County," said Fauth.