Longtime Dawson County District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix has announced she will seek a fifth term.
"Let me start by saying thank you and what a privilege it has been to serve as your District 4 commissioner," she said. "After consideration and discussions with my family, I have decided to ask Dawson countians for your support in re-electing me to this position again."
A lifelong county resident, Hughes Nix, 65, became the first woman elected to the commission in 1996. After taking four years off following her first term, she was re-elected in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
She is currently the longest serving member on the commission, a notion she believes is a credit to Dawson County.
"Some of the goals we have accomplished together include [the] administration [and] judicial complex, Fire Station No. 2 on Hwy. 53, reopening Fire Station No. 3 on Harmony Church Road, jail facility and renovation of the senior adult center, just to name a few," she said.
"Each of these accomplishments was due to community support, hard work from board members, staff, management and employees."
Hughes Nix said the county's nearly debt-free status is among her greatest prides as a commissioner.
"I am so proud to say we are nearly debt free, and I will continue to support a tax balance that depends more on retail than residential," she said. "I look forward to seeing our infrastructure improve as we focus on county roads and other planned products."
Looking to the future, she said Dawson County is poised for positive new development as the retail centers set to open later this year move into the area.
"With all the new businesses scheduled to open later this year, we will experience opportunities as well as challenges," she said. "As our county experiences a growth period, the need for more park facilities will be a priority in the 400 corridor area."
Her entry into the political arena stemmed from childhood memories of her late father, J. Cliff Hughes, who was elected three times to serve Dawson County as a state representative and as a state senator in the 1950s.
"As your commissioner, I will strive to work with all involved to make this new growth successful for us all," she said. "As a retired educator, please know that I am here to serve everyone in Dawson County.
"We have so much to be thankful for and a beautiful county to enjoy."
A Dawson County High School graduate, Hughes Nix earned a bachelor's degree in early education from the University of Georgia and a master's in education from Brenau University.
She holds credentials as a certified county commissioner and is a graduate of the Certified Commissioners' Advanced Program.
She also serves as a board member for Ninth District Opportunity and is a member of Concord Baptist Church.
Hughes Nix, a Republican, is the lone candidate to announce for the seat at this point.
Qualifying for the May 24 primary is set for March 7-11.