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Elected officials sworn in

New faces welcomed aboard commission, magistrate bench

POSTED: January 4, 2009 5:00 a.m.
Photo/Michele Hester/

James Swafford, right, pledged to make decisions that "will be most conducive to the welfare and best interests of the entire county" as he was sworn in as Dawson County's District 2 Commissioner by Judge C. Andrew Fuller.

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Dawson County’s newest elected officials were sworn in to service Friday afternoon at the Dawson County Courthouse by Superior Court Judge C. Andrew Fuller.


“It’s an honor to be here swearing in your public officials, those who you chose to help lead this great county into the future,” Fuller said before administering oaths of office to 10 recently elected officials.


Only two of the public servants have not held office before.


James Swafford joins the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, filling the District 2 seat, and Tony Tarnacki will serve as associate magistrate judge.

Both men take office Jan. 1.


“I certainly consider it an honor to be chosen to represent the citizens of Dawson County,” Swafford said on Monday. “I will study all the issues coming before the board of commissioners and make the decisions I determine are best for all citizens of Dawson County.”


Swafford defeated outgoing commissioner Terri Tragesser in the July 15 Republican primary.


Tarnacki, who was appointed associate magistrate judge by Chief Magistrate-elect and current Associate Magistrate Lisa Thurmond, is also new to the political arena.


Thurmond, who replaces Johnny Holtzclaw as chief magistrate and was sworn in to her first term on Friday, said she believes Tarnacki is an ideal fit for the bench.


Commission Chairman Mike Berg and District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix, who retained their respective seats on the board, also took their oaths of office Friday.


Also sworn in for another four-year term were: Probate Judge Jennifer Evans Burt; Sheriff Billy Carlisle; Clerk of Superior Court Becky V. McCord; Tax Commissioner Linda Townley; Coroner Ted Bearden; and Board of Education members Doris N. Cook, Elaine Wilson and Roger D. Slaton.


County Surveyor Frederick C. Youngman, who could not attend the ceremony, will be sworn in later.


E-mail Michele Hester at



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