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Fausett wins commission seat
1 Election pic
Runner-up Corey Gutherie congratulates Sharon Fausett on her win for the countys District 1 Commission seat Tuesday night at the local election office. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Political newcomer Sharon Fausett is Dawson County's next District 1 commissioner.

Fausett avoided a runoff by securing about 58.5 percent of the vote over runner-up Corey Gutherie's 24.7 percent and Kevin Ellison, who received 16.8 percent of the vote.

"I'm just overwhelmed and astonished and so proud of the voters," Fausett said. "I'm looking forward to this."

The Republican takes office Jan. 1 as no Democrats qualified to seek the post. She will succeed two-term Commissioner Gary Pichon, who chose not to seek re-election.

According to election officials, about 20 percent of the county's 12,937 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday's primary.

Also on the ballot, District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby and Board of Education member Will Wade, both incumbents, as well as political newcomer Karen Armstrong, board of education ran unopposed for their seats.

For Dawson's state legislative delegation, District 9 Rep. Kevin Tanner and District 51 Sen. Steve Gooch also ran unopposed, while District 7 Rep. David Ralston held off a challenge from Sam Snider.

A former teacher who later served as director for the Dawson County Department of Family and Children Services for nearly a decade, Fausett, 63, and husband Danny are farmers. They run an agritourism destination on the county's west side.

She also served on the county tax assessor's board, as well as the comprehensive land-use committee. She's also involved with promoting local tourism.

Gutherie, a local engineer, congratulated Fausett on the win and vowed to continue working for Dawson.

"I'm proud of our county for getting out and voting to get these results," he said. "I genuinely want to congratulate Mrs. Fausett and I'm happy to help in any way that I can."

Fausett also thanked Gutherie "on the clean race he ran."

As a county native with a focus on preserving the community's rural aspect, Fausett said she wants to share what makes the county so special with tourim that could help generate local revenue.

"I want to preserve and protect what we have," she said.

A graduate of Dawson County High School and North Georgia College & State University, Fausett said she wants to be a part of the county's growth and looks at the commission seat as a position of service to her community.

Reached by phone Tuesday night, Ellison thanked his supporters.

"It was never about a group or a political party. It was about the citizens," he said.