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Gooch named most influential
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A local legislator was recently tapped among Georgia's most influential lawmakers.

District 51 Sen. Steve Gooch, a Republican from Dahlonega, was named one of the state's most influential senators by James magazine in its 2013 Georgia's Power Brokers edition.

"I'm humbled and honored to be named to this list. I take it as a great compliment, because I'm only in my sophomore session. They usually choose legislatures with a lot more tenure," Gooch said.

Distributed monthly by InsiderAdvantage Georgia, James magazine provides perspective on the state's news, politics and culture.

Matt Towery, CEO of James, said a panel of writers and former legislators suggest names for consideration. After considerable research, the final names are selected by the magazine's publisher and writers for InsiderAdvantage and James.

As chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and vice chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee, Gooch held several key appointments during the 2013 legislative session and also served as secretary of the Republican caucus.

"I got some pretty good appointments this year, and I think it helped that I was there when we worked to restore the lieutenant governor's powers in the senate," he said. "I'm proud and glad to have been a part of that."

Gooch's district includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Union and White counties, as well as portions of Forsyth and Pickens counties.