Ron Holliday, the Buchanan County prosecuting attorney, told News-Press NOW on Wednesday that he won’t seek a second term and that he no longer lives in Buchanan County.
State law requires candidates for prosecuting attorney to live in the county where they’re seeking office for a year prior to the election, but there’s no requirement prosecuting attorneys continue to live in the area once they are voted in to office.
Tax records show Holliday owns a home with his wife in Smithville, Missouri, and the prosecutor confirmed that’s where he’s lived since June.
“At that time I changed my legal residency and voter registration to Clay County,” Holliday said in a statement. “We live in Smithville and I commute to work daily. We plan to retire in Smithville where we have built our retirement home.”
Holliday’s term extends through 2022.
“As far as the actual move to Smithville is concerned, we had originally planned to sell our house in St. Joseph in 2021 but an opportunity arose earlier this year and we decided to make the move,” Holliday said in a statement. “Our children all live in close proximity to Smithville and we want to be close to them and our grandchildren upon retirement. That is the reason for Smithville.”
Holliday told News-Press NOW that he will continue to fulfill the duties of his office, even though he lives outside Buchanan County.
“I will continue to do the job I am sworn to do as will my assistant prosecutors,” Holliday said.
State Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, said that while he wouldn’t sponsor a bill to create a continuing residency requirement for larger counties, he would be open to voting for such a bill. Hegeman said smaller counties often have trouble finding a prosecuting attorney because there are few qualified lawyers who live there.
“So even though I’d love to see that they’d have to be in the county, it’s kind of a select group that you can pick from,” Hegeman said.
State Representative Dean VanSchoiack, R-Savannah, said he wouldn’t vote to change the law over an isolated incident.