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Votes are in, local races decided
Amerson comes out ahead of Gooch
-A-Election pic 1
Newly elected Dawson County District 2 Commissioner James Swafford talks with State House District 9 hopeful Steve Gooch at the party sponsored by the Dawson County Republican Party at the Bowen Center for the Arts Tuesday night. Gooch lost to incumbent Amos Amerson. - photo by Michele Hester

With only the provisional ballots not counted, Jennifer Burt, Julie Hughes Nix, James Swafford and Lisa Thurmond have secured their respective Dawson County political races.

Political newcomer and Dawson County native James Swafford, with 66.5 percent of the vote, was the big winner in the highly contested race for Dawson County's district 2 commission seat against incumbent Terri Tragesser. Swafford received 1,976 votes over Tragesser's 995 votes.


Swafford thanked Dawson County voters for their faith in his ability to serve as commissioner.


"I can't say enough about this county and their confidence in me. I promise I'll work hard to be their commissioner," he said.

Two-term district 4 commissioner Julie Hughes Nix won by more than 76 percent over newcomer Thayer Spencer. "We are excited about serving Dawson County for four more years. We will work very hard," Nix said.

The Chief Magistrate race, which many suggested might be headed to a runoff, saw current Dawson County Associate Magistrate Lisa Thurmond, who began campaigning in February, take more than 58 percent of the votes with 1,692.


Dan Pichon received 476 and Marsha Waller received 727 votes in the magistrate race.


"We worked very hard since February," Thurmond said, adding the biggest challenge she expects to face in the coming months will be finding a qualified associate magistrate judge.


Pichon said he was pleased with the segment of the population that turned out to vote in Tuesday's primary, in which he said he was very proud.

In the race for Probate Judge, Jennifer Burt, who has served in the capacity for three terms, overwhelmingly won the probate race against attorney Henry Young. Burt accumulated 72.6 percent of the recorded votes.


"I would like to thank Dawson County for their overwhelming support," Burt said. "I plan to uphold the office in the same professional manner that I have in the past 12 years and look forward to serving Dawson County in the next four years."

In the state race for the Georgia's 9th District House of Representatives Incumbent Amos Amerson, with 58.51 percent of Dawson County's votes, defeated Steve Gooch, the current commission chair in Lumpkin County.

 Amerson also pulled ahead in both Lumpkin and Forsyth counties to secure his seat for a third term.

Gooch, who will remain as chairman of the Lumpkin County Board of commissioners through the end of the year, said he still has work to do in Lumpkin County before January and plans to spend the next few weeks making preparations for a new baby that's on the way.

Chairman of the Board Mike Berg ran unopposed; as did Sheriff Billy Carlisle, Clerk of Court Becky McCord, Surveyor Frederick Youngman and Tax Commissioner Linda Townley.


School board members Doris Cook, Elaine Wilson and Roger Slaton were also unopposed for their seats.  

Editor Stephanie Griffin contributed to this article.

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