At least one former state representative wants to be considered as the new 9th District representative on the State Transportation Board following the resignation of Dalton attorney Steve Farrow.
The 9th District seat on the transportation board will become vacant Saturday when Farrow’s resignation is official. With more than three years left in his term, Farrow announced on Friday he was resigning from the post for personal reasons.
"I’ve just got a lot of demands in my personal life that weren’t there when I first took office a year and a half ago, and family responsibilities are important above all else," Farrow said. "... As gut-wrenching as it was, I had to go ahead and make some difficult decisions."
Members of Hall County’s delegation said Monday they want to restore the district’s representation on the transportation board quickly.
Stacey Reece, a former Republican state representative and Gainesville businessman, said he hopes state legislators will reconsider him for the position. Reece said he has been lobbying state representatives and senators who represent portions of the 9th District for their votes since Farrow announced his resignation Friday. The district stretches from Hall and White counties to Dade County on the Tennessee and Alabama borders.
Reece, born in Dawson County, has legislative ties and family living throughout the district, he said. The former state representative said he hopes those
connections will make the 24 legislators responsible for electing him understand that he has the benefit of entire district in mind.
"I think they appreciate the fact that I have reasons to make sure the entire district is taken care of and not just a small segment like Hall County or just half the district," Reese said.
Reece ran for the 9th District seat on the DOT board in 2008, but lost to Mike Evans, who was seeking re-election to the DOT board then and is now a candidate to represent the district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Evans resigned from the post two months after his re-election because of a personal relationship with former Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans. In May of the same year, Farrow was elected to fill the vacant seat.
State legislators who voted for Evans in 2008 say now they may be more inclined to support Reece.
State Sen. Lee Hawkins and State Rep. Carl Rogers, both Gainesville Republicans, said they believe Reece could handle the job.
"He has the desire to do the job and I think he would do a fine job," Hawkins said.
Rogers, who called Reece a friend, said Reece was familiar with the DOT’s budget issues and would work well with DOT Commissioner Vance Smith Jr.
"I am pushing Stacey as hard as I can push right now," Rogers said.
Other state representatives were a little more hesitant, however. State Reps. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, and James Mills, R-Chestnut Mountain, said it was too early to tell who they would support as the next 9th District commissioner.
"This is all new to everyone, so I think we just need to give it some thought," Mills said. "At this time, it’s too early to say something. I hope we can get someone in that position, you know, that will represent Hall County well."