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Dunahoo to run for House re-election in different district, covering East Hall and Jackson County
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Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gainesville, takes part in the annual Eggs & Issues breakfast Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at the Lanier Technical College Ramsey Conference Center. - photo by Scott Rogers

Rep. Emory Dunahoo will run for re-election in a different district this year after being drawn out of House District 30 in the last redistricting cycle following the 2020 census.

Dunahoo, R-Gillsville, who has held office in the seat that covers much of South Hall since 2011, will run as the incumbent of District 31, because Rep. Thomas Benton, R-Jefferson, is retiring after the completion of his current term. 

The state legislature drew new lines in November, and Gov. Brian Kemp approved the districts near the end of 2021. District 31 now covers part of East Hall County and much of Jackson County. District 30 will cover much of South Hall, including Flowery Branch, but does not include Dunahoo’s Gillsville residence. 

On the ballot in May, Dunahoo will be indicated as the incumbent candidate, even though he will be running in a district where 92% of his constituents are new. However, Dunahoo says his Gillsville farm is less than a mile from Jackson County, and he has already started to meet some of his potential new voters. He attended Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce’s banquet on Thursday, Jan. 27, he said, and has started putting out campaign signs. 

“The way I look at this is, I’ve got 11 years of experience; I haven’t changed,” Dunahoo said. “I ran on pro-life … I ran on doing away with the state income tax … and constitutional carry, that’s my bill.”

“I’m here to serve the people. That’s always been my goal. I’ve never changed from that philosophy,” Dunahoo said.

Dunahoo will face Republican challenger Don Clerici, the Chairman of Jackson County’s school board, who announced his run for state office earlier this week. 

District 30 will be an open seat and has already attracted multiple Republican candidates. Derrick McCollum, a construction company owner in Lawrenceville, and Barry Sanders, a small business owner in Buford, are on the campaign trail. 

The primary election will be held May 24.