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Meeting set to pick new DOT board member

Evans, Abraham also say they'll tie the knot

POSTED: May 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, have set May 29 as the date for the caucus to elect a 9th District representative to the State Board of Transportation.

The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. at the state capitol.

Under Georgia law, members of the transportation board are elected from the state’s congressional districts by the members of the state House and state Senate from the respective district.

The 9th District post was vacated in April with the sudden resignation of Mike Evans, who stepped down after announcing he was dating Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Abraham.

It was announced Tuesday that the pair plan to be married.

Evans told The Times on Tuesday that he proposed to Abraham on Friday night, sitting on the front porch swing of her lake home in Alabama.

He presented her with an engagement ring, and she accepted. He did not divulge the details of the ring.

Evans said no date had been set, but the couple has talked about getting married some time this summer.

Meanwhile, a new name was added to the list of potential candidates to replace Evans on the DOT board.

Larry Dent, a former deputy commissioner of the DOT, who lives in Hall County, confirmed he is seeking the post. Dent served as district engineer in the Gainesville district before moving to an administrative post at the agency headquarters in Atlanta. He is now retired from the DOT.

"I have a unique perspective to bring to the board," Dent said.

He joins a field that includes Phil Neff, a Republican activist from Dalton; former State Sen. Steve Farrow, also of Dalton, State Rep. Ben Bridges, R-Cleveland, who is not seeking re-election to the House, and Ray Seipp, a Lookout Mountain City Council member.

Evans was re-elected in a politically charged race against former State Rep. Stacey Reece, R-Gainesville.

Richardson, in Hall County last week for a bill signing, said he was hopeful that a consensus candidate would be selected before a caucus, avoiding another political battle.

The 9th District stretches from Hall and White counties northwest to the border with Alabama and Tennessee. It includes a large portion of Forsyth County.


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