County attorney election to go on May 2 ballot

Newly appointed Lee County Attorney Ross Braden was sworn in at Tuesday's regular meeting of the Lee County Board of Supervisors. Braden is sworn in by District Judge John Wright. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC.

Editor’s note: It was incorrectly reported that the election for the Lee County Attorney would be held in the 2018 election cycle as that was the discussion among Lee County Board of Supervisors when Ross Braden was appointed last week. However, according to statute the election must be held on the first countywide ballot which will be May 2 when the referendum to build a new Lee County Health Department will be decided.

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG

PCC EDITOR

MONTROSE – Fort Madison attorney Ross Braden was sworn in as Lee County Attorney this morning at the regular meeting of the Lee County Board of Supervisors.

Interim County Attorney Clinton Boddicker, who has been filling in since the retirement of former Lee County Attorney Mike Short at the end of January, was to be sworn in as well, but according to Lee County Auditor Denise Fraise, he was in court at the time.

The Lee County Attorney’s position will go up for election May 2 as part of the special election for voters to decide if a bond referendum will be passed to build a $2.6 million Lee County Health Department building on property the county currently owns as part of the jail campus in Montrose. The building, if approved, will be built on the west end of the property.

Boddicker had said after the appointment last week that he would be considering filing for a special election, but the May 2 election would make that a moot point.

Braden was sworn in by District Judge John Wright.

“First of all I want to thank the board for giving me this opportunity to serve as Lee County Attorney. Like I said,  prior to going to law school, this was the goal I’ve always had and I look very much forward to serving in this role to the best of my ability,” Braden told the board.

According to Fraise, in order to get on the May 2nd ballot, a candidate for County Attorney must submit an affidavit of candidacy and a petition with 228 signatures by April 7th at 5:00 p.m. to the Auditor’s Office.  That is 1 percent of the registered voters in the Lee County on July 2016 per Iowa Code 45.1.

A phone call to the Lee County Attorney’s office for comment from Boddicker was unreturned.

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