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Transportation board position open
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Dawson County could soon have new representation on the State Transportation Board.


The election to fill the board’s 9th Congressional District seat is set for 2 p.m. Feb. 9 in the state Senate chambers, said Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, who formerly held the post.


Any senator or state representative in the district can nominate a new board member. The candidates will be given a chance to talk for a couple of minutes.


“Then there’ll be a vote and whoever wins has to have a majority of the votes cast,” Gooch said.


If no candidate gets a majority, a runoff would take place between the two highest vote-getters.


Anyone interested in being a candidate “needs to make that known to senators and representatives in the district quickly,” Gooch said.


The 9th district is made up of 15 counties from Hall to the northwest corner of the state.


Gooch said he has heard so far of only one possible candidate, Emily Dunn, chairwoman of Fannin County Board of Education, who is being supported by House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.Dunn couldn’t be reached for comment last week.


A chain of board members has represented the 9th District over the past few years, beginning with Mike Evans, who resigned in April 2008, citing a budding romantic relationship with then-DOT Commissioner Gena Abraham.


He had just been re-elected to a five-year term on the board.


Dalton lawyer Steve Farrow succeeded Evans. He resigned in August 2009, citing personal issues.


Gooch, former chairman of the Lumpkin County Commission, won election to the transportation board in October 2009. Former state Rep. Stacey Reece of Gainesville finished second in the voting.


The transportation board’s 10th District seat also is up for grabs. The district covers much of Northeast Georgia, including Jackson County.


Also, David Doss of the 11th District and Robert L. Brown Jr. of the 4th District are up for re-election.


“All four of those elections will be held the same afternoon,” Gooch said.