Grant Moody, a Republican, was elected to Bexar County Commissioners Court on Nov. 8, filling the remainder of Trish Deberry’s term for two years. This was his first run for public office. He represents Precinct 3, which covers much of North San Antonio and part of unincorporated Bexar County. A Kansas native, Moody previously served 10 years with the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat pilot and is active in the U.S. Marine Reserves. In civilian life, Moody served in several executive roles at financial services company USAA before becoming a director of innovation at Valero Energy Corp. This article has been edited for clarity and length.

How did your career post-military unfold?

I went to business school, and when I looked at what I wanted to do next within business, I had a friend from the U.S. Naval Academy who connected me with USAA in San Antonio. I knew and loved the company during my time as a member in the military. I spent the next five years at USAA.

What or who spurred you to run for elected office?

I spent a little time on Capitol Hill in [former U.S. Rep.] Mike Pompeo’s Congressional office. I’ve been involved in Republican Party activities and supporting some campaigns. Giving back was always something I thought was important, and [Commissioners Court] was a unique opportunity. I thought it was a great match for my business world background. I bring that business sense to local government and helping solve problems.

What are some initiatives you hope to push as a county commissioner?

I would say that the lay of the land is always changing, and there’s always new issues that are being brought to our attention, and we’re trying to address those in real time. If we can stay focused on some of those priorities, then a lot of the work that we do falls underneath one or more of those.

What are a couple of areas you want to focus on?

Everything we do at the county jail, with the sheriff’s office, our constables and our courts—I think that all falls underneath public safety. All those need to be integrated and work effectively and efficiently to have a safe, secure community. Another thing is property taxes. There’s something about tightening our belts and making sure we spend on things that should be priorities. Then there’s the other side when it comes to dealing with homestead exemptions and working with other taxing authorities to try to bring down their taxes.

Is there anything you are doing differently than your predecessors?

I can’t speak for how previous commissioners operated in office or their teams, or what their priorities were. We are our own team. We have our own priorities. We’re trying to be as responsive as we can to constituent concerns. I do think the kind of background experience I’ve had at USAA and Valero provides a unique perspective for me in terms of trying to solve problems and not just talk about them. I don’t know if that’s unique across the board or not, but I think it’s an approach that I’m trying to bring to the table.

What are some achievements in your first few months in office?

We were able to broker a deal to get 62 new additional law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. We also were very active in defeating Proposition A, which 73% of voters opposed in the May election.

We were out there bringing together different groups—business, community, law enforcement, conservatives and others. Business owners across the community understood the risk associated with decriminalizing theft, vandalism and graffiti if Prop A had passed.