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Legislative tussle over state DOT Chairman Evans comes to a vote Friday
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The controversial election for the 9th District seat on the State Transportation Board will take place Friday in the Senate chamber at the state Capitol.

Mike Evans, who is chairman of the transportation board, is up for re-election, but is facing opposition from Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson over Evans’ vote for Gena Abraham, who became commissioner of the Department of Transportation in November.

Richardson had favored state Rep. Vance Smith, R-Pine Mountain, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The seat is voted on by members of the House and Senate from the 9th Congressional District.

In past years, the election has been done by secret ballot. However, Richardson is said to be pushing for a public vote.

While Richardson’s office would not confirm it, the speaker is said to be supporting former state Rep. Stacey Reece, a Gainesville Republican.

Reece has declined to comment on the matter, although state Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, identified Reece as the likely candidate to oppose Evans.

Evans, a former Republican state representative from Cumming, was elected four years ago to the DOT board.

He has received letters of endorsement from most of the municipalities in Hall County, as well as the Hall County commission.

He has also been heavily supported by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, R-Chestnut Mountain.

The vote is set to take place at 11 a.m. Friday.