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2008 elections bring new leaders

POSTED: January 7, 2009 4:00 a.m.

Jennifer Burt, Julie Hughes Nix, James Swafford and Lisa Thurmond were elected to politically serve the Dawson community for the next four years.


James Swafford, a political newcomer, now holds the county’s District 2 commission seat.


Swafford thanked Dawson County voters for their faith in his ability to serve as commissioner.


“I can’t say enough about this county and their confidence in me,” Swafford said. “I promise I’ll work hard to be their commissioner.”


Two-term District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix said she was “Excited about serving Dawson County for four more years. We will work very hard.”


The chief magistrate race, one which many thought was headed for a runoff, concluded with Lisa Thurmond, who served as associate magistrate for the last four years under Chief Magistrate Johnny Holtzclaw, taking more than 58 percent of the votes.


Holtzclaw announced early last year he would not seek a second term as chief magistrate and returned to his roots in law enforcement on Jan. 1.


Jennifer Burt overwhelmingly won the probate race against attorney Henry Young by accumulating 72.6 percent of the recorded votes.


“I would like to thank Dawson County for their overwhelming support,” Burt said.  “I plan to uphold the office in the same professional manner that I have in the past 12 years and look forward to serving Dawson County in the next four years.”


Chairman of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners Mike Berg, Sheriff Billy Carlisle, Clerk of Superior Court Becky McCord, Surveyor Frederick Youngman, Coroner Ted Bearden, Tax Commissioner Linda Townley, and school board members Doris Cook, Elaine Wilson and Roger Slaton ran unopposed.


While there were no city elections in 2008, the city of Dawsonville announced executive appointments shortly before Christmas.


With three years as a city councilwoman under her belt, Dawsonville native Linda Grant was appointed Mayor Pro Tem and said she was excited and honored to have to opportunity to fill this position.


“I always worked with the public because I love people,” commented Grant. “I want to see things done and I want to see them done right. I have seen this city grow from plugging the phone into the wall to cell phones. Dawsonville has a bright future and I am proud to be a part of it.”


The month of December also saw the appointment of David Wallace, local attorney at law, as the new Municipal Court Judge.


“I am honored that the city would ask me to do this,” Wallace said. “I am looking forward to serving the city in any way that I can.”


One common theme runs through the new and old faces recently elected, excitement and pride. Those who were elected are each anxious to serve the citizens of Dawson County.


E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at


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