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Election Results - May 2, 2017 - Lee County, Iowa

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Lee County residents decided during Tuesday's special election that they want a new county attorney, but do not want to pay for a new home for the county health department.

Voters chose Clinton Boddicker, who currently serves as Assistant County Attorney, to take over as prosecutor for the next 19 months. He defeated incumbent Ross Braden 59%-41%.

Braden held the position for less than three months. The county board in February, appointed Braden over Boddicker to replace Mike Short, who retired after 40 years as Lee County Attorney.

Boddicker said, Tuesday night, that he was overwhelmed by the support he received during the campaign.

Boddicker and Braden each won nine voting precincts. But it was the more than 600 vote margin of victory for Boddicker in Keokuk, where he lives, and the surrounding area that led him to victory.

Boddicker said he will start working on his plans for the office next week. He said he would be willing to keep Braden on as an assistant county attorney.

Meanwhile, 55% of voters rejected the county's plan to borrow up to $2.6-million to build a new health department building near the county jail. It required 60% approval to pass.

Julie Schilling, who is the health department's administrator, said Tuesday night she was disappointed by the results, but said she also understands it can be difficult to pass a bond issue the first time around.

Schilling said the Lee County Board of Health will decide how to proceed.

She said it could request another bond referendum, re-examine some properties previously considered for re-development, or invest in the current building, which the county does not own.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.