A veteran lawman has announced his intentions to run for the Dawson County District 1 Commission seat.
Kevin Ellison, 49, is the second candidate to formally announce intentions for the post currently held by Gary Pichon, who has said he will not seek a third term.
"I've been involved with county government for 27 years at all different levels, the last eight years at the executive level, dealing with budgets, dealing with commissions and things of that nature," he said. "I've always wanted to give back to the county one way or another. This way I would at least have some input on how things are being done."
Political newcomer Corey Gutherie also plans to run for the District 1 post.
A Dawson County resident for the last 15 years, Ellison is a career law enforcement officer with 27 years on the job, including the last eight in administration with the DeKalb County Police Department.
He plans to retire this summer.
"I've been doing this commute back and forth and have not really been able to do much up here. I want to be able to get more involved. That's one of the reasons I'm retiring because I want to devote my time to Dawson County," he said.
Ellison said while he is pleased with the job of the current commission, he has identified several areas he believes could be improved upon.
"With the downturn in the economy, I think [the commission has] done a fantastic job. And I want to continue that because you can see what's coming up 400," he said. "We have to be able to balance growth with the stress on our infrastructure."
He pointed to improvement needs to local roads as a must for the upcoming special purpose local option sales tax referendum.
Retaining highly skilled employees, such as firefighters and emergency workers, is also vital, he said, to keep them "from going to other places."
Ellison holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a concentration in organizational leadership from the American Military University and is pursuing a master's degree in military history.
He and wife Christy have two adult children who graduated from Dawson County High School.
Qualifying for the May 20 General Primary will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3-6 and 9 a.m. to noon March 7 at the board of elections and registration office on Academy Avenue, Dawsonville.