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KINGSTON (WATE) - A man who was considering a run for Roane County property assessor is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
James Thomas Woods, Jr., 56, died Thursday morning at the home of the current property assessor.
Woods was a former employee of the property assessor's office. He recently picked up a petition to run for the office in December.
The shooting was reported at 8:32 a.m. at 1010 Brentwood Way, the home of Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham.
Police say Kirkham never came into contact with Woods. She saw his truck outside and called friends.
One of those friends and current employee, Lisa Billings, came to the house and called 911 saying Woods had shot himself in the head while he was on the patio.
CPR was in progress when officers and medical personnel arrived. Woods was taken to the Roane Medical Center and pronounced dead.
Police Chief Jim Washam says investigators don't have a motive for the shooting, but speculates the election had something to do with it.
Another candidate for property assessor, Cheryl Laxton, withdrew from the race on Monday, citing her mother's serious illness. She accused Kirkham of getting accusations against other candidates published in the Roane County News with just a phone call.
Laxton endorsed another candidate, David Morgan, for property assessor.
Laxton told 6 News, "JT was a dear friend. He was a great guy. I don't know what happened. I don't know what caused him to snap."
Morgan said "It's unbelievable. I met JT a few nights ago. He seemed happy. He seemed excited about the campaign. I didn't see it."
Chief Washam said he knew Woods and was also surprised by the shooting.
According to Washam, Woods had a son who was recently married.