Ross Braden experienced deja vu Tuesday morning as he took the oath of office as Lee County Attorney for the second time in less than twelve months. Braden said he is excited for the opportunity to return to the job.
"I am honored to be back," said Braden. "Working in the office has been a great experience and I have really enjoyed it."
The county board first appointed Braden as County Attorney in February 2017, replacing Mike Short, who retired after nearly 40 years in office. Braden's first term, though, was short lived.
He was defeated by Clinton Boddicker in a special election in May 2017. But Braden did not leave the office because Boddicker appointed him to serve as Assistant County Attorney.
"My boss and predecessor, Clinton, he was a great boss and it was really great to work with him," said Braden. "He treated me very well."
Boddicker resigned as County Attorney last week so he could take over as a District Associate Judge in southeast Iowa. Boddicker recommended Braden replace him to allow for a smooth transition, which the Lee County Board followed through on Tuesday morning.
"We have a huge adjustment period here," said Braden. "Obviously there have been a lot of changes in the last year for an office that has been relatively stable for the last 30 years. I think in the next year, there will probably be some changes to be made, but as far as how we handle and prosecute cases, I don't think anything different on that other than switching up the caseload."
Braden said he will bring local public defender Jonathan Stensvaag into the County Attorney's office to serve as a full-time Lee County Attorney. Stensvaag was one of the finalists for the judicial seat to which Boddicker was appointed.
Braden's term expires at the end of the year. He said he intends to complete the term and run for re-election in the November, 2018 election, though county residents have about two weeks to petition the county board for a special election for replacing Boddicker.