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HERRIN — The two candidates running for Williamson County state’s attorney next year have been asked to resign from the executive board of the Herrin-based Child Advocacy Center, one of the candidates said.

Challenger Daniel Kay applauded the request, calling it a shrewd move given recently donated money to the Center raised at a golf outing organized by the state’s attorney’s office.

“That had to have been enormously difficult for them to have extended themselves like that,” Kay said. “I’m going to respect that.”

Kay submitted his resignation Thursday. State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti could not be reached for comment. The resignations were sought by Executive Director Leah Brown and board Chairwoman Tracey Glenn; neither could be reached.

Zanotti would continue to serve in a statutory capacity, limited to reviewing protocols at the Center once a year, Kay explained.

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Kay said the resignations were sought to avoid distractions at the Center that might arise as he and Zanotti face off for the March 15 Democratic nomination. Kay had served on the board in two stints for a total of about seven years.

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Kay said he understood the concern about potential disagreements regarding Center business as he and Zanotti campaign against each other as well as any undue pressure on other board members in search of their support for one campaign or the other.

Kay also said he believes distancing the center from the state’s attorney’s office is a good move, given that one function of the Center is to provide court support services for abused children and their families.

“Having someone too close to you and too closely tied is not a good thing. I think that’s a fantastic step in the right direction,” Kay said. “I think it is high time there be some distance.”

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