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Votes are in
Byrd, Grogan and ELOST successful
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Political newcomers Calvin Byrd and James Grogan were elected to the Dawsonville City Council Tuesday night.


Byrd and Grogan, who will both take office in January, were among six candidates vying for the two open seats on the council. Both were elected to four year terms.


Incumbent Linda Grant fell just short with only 13 votes separating her and Grogan, who received 92 votes of the 475 cast.


Byrd, 25, who was considered to be the front runner, took 155 votes, while Joe Fortune received 72, to Frank Craft's 46 and Alan Metzel's 30.


Grogan, 67, said he looks forward to finding ways to help the city and its residents.


"I wished more people would come out and vote because we need to hear what they have to say. This is their city," Grogan said.


Byrd, a Dawson County native, also thanked his supporters.


"I'd like to thank all the citizens of Dawsonville for their support. I'm looking forward to serving them and learning as much as I can in the next few months to be prepared for this job," Byrd said.


Both winners also thanked theirs fellow candidates.


"I didn't know any of the other candidates until the debate last Thursday, but then I realized we had some really good candidates,"   Grogan said.


Grant, whose term expires Dec. 31, was at the Pool Room for Byrd's victory party following the results. 


"I'd like to congratulate Calvin and James. I'm sure they'll do a good job," she said.


In other election news, The Dawson County School System's one-cent education sales tax passed by an overwhelming margin.


Of the county's 12,581 registered voters, 1,022 cast ballots in the election, with 803 (78.8 percent) in favor of extending the tax and 216 (21.2 percent) voting against.


School board members were overjoyed at the results.


"We're just so excited to see all the wonderful things we can do for our kids and their education," said board member Doris Cook.


The school system plans to build a new alternative school and make improvements, such as roof repairs and renovations at area schools.


"It's a great thing for Dawson County education," board member Will Wade said.