COLUMBUS Cherokee County Attorney John Bullard turned in his letter of resignation Monday, saying he will vacate the office effective Nov. 9. Bullard's term expires at the end of the year and he is not running for reelection.

Bullard was hired as the Cherryvale City Manager earlier this year and has been splitting time between both offices.

Bullard hired Melanie Bingham, who is currently the Democrat candidate for county attorney, as special assistant county attorney in August. Bullard, also a Democrat, said at the time it was not an endorsement, but simply that Bingham was available.

"It's not an endorsement one way or the other," Bullard told the CCNA in August. "I talked to Nate (Coleman) about it as well, but he has some criminal defense cases and is contracted to the county so there would have been a conflict."

Coleman is the Republican candidate for the office.

Bullard said he's resigning now simply because the work he was trying to finish was done.

"Cherryvale needs me full time," he said. "I told them (the Cherryvale City Council) when they hired me I would try to close out some things and resign before the end of my term."

Cherokee County Democrat Party Chairman Jim Oberbeck said who replaces Bullard would be up to the local committee.

Because Bullard is resigning before the end of his term there will be a period of about two months in which a new attorney will have to be appointed. Because Bullard is a Democrat the replacement for that period will have to be a Democrat as well regardless of who wins the election.

If Bingham wins, Oberbeck said, she would most likely be the choice to replace Bullard.

"She's running so that's probably who they would pick," he said, adding he had not discussed the matter with the committee yet.

If Coleman wins on Nov. 6 a Democrat will still have to be appointed to serve out Bullard's unexpired term.