Retiring Probate Judge Dewitt Simonton administered the oaths of office to most of the elected officials, except his successor, Jan Hunt, who was sworn in by Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards. Simonton also presented Hunt with a gavel following her swearing in.
Hunt, along with new county commissioners Rita Johnson and Bart Miller, were the only newly-elected officials. Simonton also administered the oath of office to Griffin attorney Brennan T. MacDowell, who was appointed as an associate judge in Spalding County Magistrate Court, effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Hunt, Johnson, Miller and incumbent Clerk of Court Marcia Norris won out over opposition during the elections. Johnson and Miller beat out incumbent commissioners Bob Gilreath and Eddie Freeman, respectively in the primaries.
The following elected officials who ran unopposed were also sworn in Thursday by Simonton – State Court Judge Sid Esary; Sheriff Wendell Beam; Chief Magistrate Rita Cavanagh; Tax Commissioner Sylvia Hollums; Coroner Sonny Foster; and School Board members James Westbury and Barbara Jo Cook.
County Commissioner Gwen Flowers-Taylor was also re-elected, running unopposed, but was not at Thursday’s swearing in ceremony. She will have to be sworn in prior to the first county commission meeting next year, scheduled for Jan. 7, as is required by state law.
Per county code, “before entering upon the duties of the office of commissioner, each member of the board shall take the oath of office as required by the laws of Georgia.”