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Martin: 'I'm in the race;' former DA seeks DOT seat

A former district attorney who resides in Sylvania has announced his candidacy for a vacant DOT board seat.
The election is scheduled for today, Feb. 19, in Atlanta.
Joe Martin, who was Ogeechee Circuit District Attorney for more than 10 years, made the rounds at the Capitol Thursday. “I’m in the race,” he said.
Martin is seeking the 12th District post being vacated by Raybon Anderson, who abruptly resigned a week or so ago, expressing the desire to spend more time with his family.
Martin said he is concerned for all of Georgia.
“We need to plan and develop infrastructure for roads and I would like to help with that planning,” Martin said. “It has been an uphill battle, but it has been fun.”
The resignation of Anderson came at a time of growing friction on the board and of a growing distrust of the board's ability to set transportation policy by decision-makers at the Capitol. The governor, the speaker and the lieutenant governor have been working for weeks on a proposal to drastically make over the way transportation decisions are made.
The election to replace Anderson will be held on Feb. 19, a date already chosen for elections for Brandon Beach, the 6th District board member, and Bill Kuhlke, the 10th District board member and current board chairman. Beach and Kuhlke apparently have not attracted opponents at this point.
Board members are elected from congressional districts by caucuses of legislators whose districts fall within the specific congressional boundaries.
Also rumored to be seeking the position is former Sen. Regina Thomas, who left her Senate seat last year to make an unsuccessful bid for Congress.
The Capitol rumor mill also indicated that some under the Gold Dome were trying to recruit Charles Tarbutton, the former Georgia Chamber of Commerce president, to make a run.
With the DOT board apparently about to be minimized through the expected legislation, there was no obvious sign Thursday that the board elections have attracted the attention that some races have garnered in the past. A big fight last year, for instance, pit the governor and the lieutenant governor against the Speaker.
But as we have often seen in the past, it is never safe to assume anything about DOT elections until they are concluded.