ATLANTA —Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday named a state senator and pilot to take the reins at the Georgia National Guard.
Jim Butterworth will become the Georgia guard's adjutant general.
The Republican from Clarkesville would have represented a small area of eastern Hall County in the state Senate if new maps drafted for state Senate districts receive pre-clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice.
He had also said in recent weeks that he may consider running for the newly drawn 9th Congressional district, which is anchored in Hall County.
Butterworth has been floor leader for the governor, helping him usher through an overhaul this year of the HOPE scholarship.
A pilot for Delta Air Lines, Butterworth served in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years, and flew B1 bombers with the Georgia Air National Guard.
He replaces Maj. Gen. Terry Nesbitt who is retiring after more than four decades of service.
The adjutant general of Georgia oversees more than 14,000 personnel in the Georgia Department of Defense, which includes the Georgia Army National Guard, the Georgia Air National Guard and the Georgia State Defense Force.
Also on Tuesday, Deal named Tricia Pridemore as director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development.
Deal handpicked Pridemore, a Marietta businesswoman who worked as a volunteer on his campaign, to take over the state Republican Party earlier this year, but she was defeated by the veteran party chairwoman Sue Everhart.
Deal has also named Pridemore to the Georgia World Congress Center Board of Governors.
Melvin Everson, a former state representative who had been heading the workforce development office, has moved over to become director of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity. There he succeeds Gordon Joyner.
Elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2005, Everson, of Snellville, became the first African-American Republican to win a contested race in Georgia since Reconstruction.