A political newcomer has announced plans to run for the Dawson County commission District 1 post.
Corey Gutherie, 36, is the first candidate to announce his intention to seek the seat currently held by Gary Pichon, who has said he will not seek re-election.
"I'm running because I feel like I have a good skill set for a commissioner," Gutherie said. "Having experience as a private consultant and working for the county for four years as a county engineer, I've gained a good understanding of how our county's government works.
"Combine that with my love for the county and I have a lot to give."
Gutherie, a Dawson resident since 2010, previously served as an engineer for the county government before resigning in 2013 to build his business and in anticipation of running for public office.
"In the private sector, before working for the county, I was a civil engineer that dealt with municipalities all the time through permitting processes, so I understand how that side of government works through planning, zoning and development," he said.
"When I became a county engineer, I became more involved in public speaking and getting in touch with the community and understanding what the different issues are."
Gutherie said he can bring to the commission an element of the population that isn't currently represented.
"I'm a young professional and I see that the board is well-represented for the senior population," he said. "I'd like to bring some fresh perspective and represent people my age."
A Georgia Tech graduate with a degree in civil engineering, Gutherie said his focus will be to improve the county's business community, a notion he hopes will boost economic growth and vitality.
"The board has done a great job of maintaining a status quo through probably the worst economic downfall we will hopefully ever see in our lifetime, but I think we're poised to move on to the next chapter of Dawson County," he said.
"Hopefully, it's one that will be a good opportunity for younger generations to continue the same traditions."
Gutherie and wife Audrey have two children, Isabel and Sam.