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Amerson plans to retire
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For months, Amos Amerson has hinted of his plans to retire from the State House of Representatives at the end of the year.

He recently made it official when he told constituents at one of his weekly breakfast meetings that he'll continue to represent District 9 until early January 2013, when his successor is sworn in.

"It continues to be a joy representing you in the Georgia General Assembly," he said.

Amerson, a Republican whose district includes parts of Dawson, Lumpkin and Forsyth counties, was first elected to the legislature in November 2000.

During his time in office, Amerson has served on numerous committees and authored bills that focused on improving lives in the district and across the state.

He considers legislation that created tax exemptions for seniors in Dawson County and a multi-member Lumpkin County commission to be among his greatest accomplishments.

As a member of the House Committee for Higher Education, Amerson is also proud of his contributions to bring funding to North Georgia College & State University.

"That not only helps Dahlonega and Lumpkin County, but the entire north Georgia region," he said.

Amerson is looking forward to the free time he'll be able to spend with his wife, Ann, when retirement beckons.

"It's time to retire and do some more things together," he said.

Amerson also said he is comfortable with the candidates who have shown an interest in pursuing his seat in the district, which has been reshaped.

Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner and former state Rep. Clint Smith have both announced their intention to run as Republicans.

Qualifying will be held May 23-25 for the July 31 General Primary.