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Lawmakers fill vacant Northwest Georgia seat on transportation board

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GDOT - State Transportation Board

State Transportation Board members Jamie Boswell (from left), Emily Dunn and Jerry Shearin are elected to five-year terms Wednesday. Shearin of Dallas was elected to represent Northwest Georgia. Contributed photo.

"It was a very close vote," Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee, said about the contest between Shearin and former Whitfield County commission chair Mike Babb. "Both of them were very knowledgeable about transportation issues."

Shearin, a former chair of the Paulding County Commission, is president of Brightway Insurance. He fills the STB seat left vacant due to the retirement of Roger Williams of Dalton.

The 14th District covers the counties of Floyd, Polk, Chattooga, Gordon, Whitfield, Walker, Catoosa, Dade, Pickens, Murray, Haralson and Paulding.

Board members are chosen by the state representatives and senators from their respective districts to serve five-year terms. They oversee general activities of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"I appreciate your faith in me and am thrilled to represent you and our constituents,” Shearin told the delegates.

Lumsden said Shearin is familiar with the pending U.S. 411 Connector project, now dubbed the Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor, and its importance to the region. The new board member also committed to keeping tabs on the two-part Ga. 140 widening project underway between Ga. 53 in Shannon and U.S. 41 in Adairsville.

"I'm confident he will keep our needs in the forefront," Lumsden said.

Also on Wednesday, legislative caucuses re-elected board veterans Jamie Boswell of  Athens, representing District 10, and Emily Dunn of Blue Ridge for District 9.