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Little interest shown in race for attorney

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By Damon Lawrence

The filing deadline for the Aug. 7 election is at noon Thursday.

As of Monday, only one candidate – Greg Leffew of Rockwood – had qualified to run for Roane County attorney.

That’s surprising to some, given the fact that the position pays $93,775 for what is a part-time job.

“I don’t know why it hasn’t attracted more interest,” Harriman attorney Donice Butler said. “It does pay well.”

Butler lost to Tom McFarland in the 2006 county attorney’s race.

McFarland ran unopposed in 2010. He chose to run for circuit court judge instead of county attorney in this year’s election.

Butler said she didn’t consider challenging Leffew for the position.

“Maybe in the future when I have more time and energy and less stress I’ll consider running for public office again, but now is just not the time for me,” she said.

Roane County Commissioner Ron Berry proposed abolishing the elected county attorney’s position, but his resolution was defeated in February.

“I think the salary is too high, but I’m just one (commissioner),” he said.

The county attorney’s total budget for this fiscal year is $122,731. That includes the $93,775 salary, $26,456 in benefits and $2,500 for travel.

“For that kind of pay maybe more people should be interested in it,” Butler said.