DOT board adds former Lumpkin commissioner

Former Lumpkin County Commission Chairman Steve Gooch on Wednesday won the state Transportation Board seat for the 9th Congressional District, which includes Cumming and Gainesville.  Gooch said he would help cities and counties that are struggling to maintain local roads, and work for new transportation funding.

The 13 board members hold five-year terms, but Gooch is the third person elected to this seat in less than two years.  Dalton lawyer Steve Farrow resigned in August for for personal reasons.  Before Farrow, the seat was held by Mike Evans, who resigned in 2008 following revelations of a romantic relationship between him and the Department of Transportation commissioner.  Asked if he planned to serve his full term, Gooch chuckled.  "Yes ma'am," he said. "I plan to."

The board used to set policy for the Department of Transportation’s $2 billion budget, but a new law has forced the board to share power.  Members are elected by the state legislators whose districts fall within the Congressional district.

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