Brandon Jones, 38, Ottawa, is running for county prosecutor in Anderson and Osage counties as a Republican. Facing one opponent in Osage and two in Anderson, Jones said he is eager to find out what Tuesday’s results will bring and is confident he can handle both offices.
“I’ve been doing this long enough I know how to get the job done efficiently, and I feel like I can do the job in both places,” he said.
The incumbent in Osage County, having served there for five years, Jones said he feels fairly confident in that race. He said he believes the work he’s done in Osage County has established him as a capable prosecutor, deserving of re-election.
Facing Libertarian candidate Fred Campbell, he said his opponent has shown little interest in the county Jones currently serves.
“I don’t really feel like my opponent has done much campaigning,” Jones said. “He didn’t come to any of the candidate forums. He’s running in four different counties, so I don’t feel like he’s actively working hard in Osage County.”
Campbell is running for county attorney in Franklin, Coffey, Osage and Anderson counties. He also skipped an Oct. 15 Ottawa candidate forum in Franklin County, where he is facing incumbent Republican Stephen Hunting.
The race Jones said he is increasingly curious about is the Anderson County attorney race. Again Jones faces Campbell, who is the 16-year incumbent there, as well as Democratic candidate Kathleen Neff. In the primary, Jones received about 630 votes in Anderson County and more than 1,600 in Osage, where he wasn’t challenged. While he admits the Anderson County race is more up in the air, Jones said he thinks it’s time for a change in that county.
With judges willing to accommodate his schedule and working remotely through the use of technology, Jones said he is confident he can serve in both offices. Currently, Jones also serves as the Osage County counselor, a job he said he doesn’t really enjoy and would be willing to forego, along with its salary, to serve in both Osage and Anderson county offices.
“The time that I free up from doing the county counselor stuff will free me up to do the Anderson County job, and I truly believe I can do both of them and do them well,” Jones said.
Jones’ Libertarian opponent said he would split up the salaries of the counties he was elected in to hire an assistant; ensuring someone was at the offices during the day.
“What I would do is, since I don’t have an assistant in Anderson, I would probably split my salary, not take both full salaries, and use the split to hire an assistant there, so I could always have someone available,” Campbell said.
In contrast, Jones said he would not hire an assistant because he feels confident he can do both jobs. If re-elected in Osage County, his salary would be reduced by $30,000 — the counselor’s salary — but he would intend on taking the full county attorney salaries in both Osage and Anderson counties.
“I’m going to do the full amount of work in both counties, so I should be compensated for the full amount of work,” Jones said. “I will not be in that office 40 hours a week, but I will be doing the full amount of work for both offices.”
After establishing himself in the Osage County office, Jones said, he would like to retain that job if possible because he is happy with the work he’s done, as well as with his staff. And winning in both counties is definitely within his abilities, he said. He hopes voters will consider him for the job.
“I’m looking forward to Tuesday night to find out what my future is,” Jones said. “I hope to continue to serve Osage County and to have the opportunity to serve Anderson County as well.”