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Swafford plans re-election bid
Swafford mug

James Swafford has announced his intention to seek a second term on the Dawson County commission.

"My goal today is the same as it was three years ago - to make decisions that will be best for all citizens of Dawson County," said Swafford, a retired accountant and lifelong county resident.

While the commission has wrestled with the sluggish economy during his time in office, Swafford said he's proud of its efforts to spend frugally and sparingly.

"The past three years have been a challenge due to the downturn in the economy," Swafford said. "It has been a great time to serve as a commissioner.

"I believe anyone can make decisions when there is plenty of revenue to provide services and purchase needed items. The real challenge is making the decisions in the hard times, provide service and hold the millage rate the same."

As the District 2 commissioner, Swafford played a role in implementing cost-saving measures such as in-house vehicle maintenance and authorizing a new fueling station.

Also, War Hill Park was completely revamped, a walking trail was added to Veterans Memorial Park and a new recycling center was established.

In addition, the county bought new patrol cars, fire engines, tractors, mowers and paving equipment while reducing actual expenditures by about $1.5 million, according to Swafford.

One undertaking Swafford plans to pursue if re-elected is increasing commercial tax revenue in order to relieve property taxes.

"We will be facing another large decrease in property tax revenue this next year," Swafford said.

A graduate of Brenau University with a bachelor's degree in accounting, Swafford serves on several committees with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, including revenue and finance, general government and training assessment.

Within his first 16 months in office, Swafford completed the Certified Commissioner Advanced Training Program.

He has also finished courses on economic development and emergency preparedness training.

Swafford is a 1965 graduate of Dawson County High School. He has been married to his wife, Jane, for 44 years. They have two sons.

Qualifying for the July 31 General Primary will run from 9 a.m. May 23 through noon May 25. Swafford has not drawn any opposition yet.