For a group of elected officials sworn in on Thursday, 2013 marks the beginning of new terms and a fresh start in the halls of government. In a packed out courtroom at the Gordon County Courthouse on Thursday, 12 newly elected officials from Gordon County took their oaths of office. Some were sworn in for the first time while others were taking their multiple oaths.
Richie Parker was sworn in as probate judge; Brenda Null took her oath as a member of the Gordon County Board of Education; Jeff Gazaway was sworn in as a Gordon County Commissioner from District 1; Norris Sexton took his post as Gordon County Commissioner from District 3 and Kevin Cunningham was sworn in as Gordon County Commissioner from District 5. Incumbent James Carver began his 10th consecutive term as coroner; Bo Nicholson and Heath Derryberry were sworn in as deputy coroners; Grant Walraven took the oath as Clerk of Superior Court for Gordon County; Ricky Silvers took his post as Magistrate Judge; Scott Clements was sworn in as tax commissioner and Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston was sworn in for his second term as sheriff.
For all the candidates, it was an evening of celebration; each looked forward to both the opportunities and challenges awaiting them over the next four years.
“It’s an honor, it really is,” said Carver, by far the most experienced of all the candidates with 36-years of service as coroner. “To be consecutively elected and without opposition during some of that time is an honor. And from the information I’ve received, I am the longest elected, consecutively elected, official in Gordon County history.”
On the flip side, Walraven is beginning his term as Clerk of Superior Court after unseating incumbent Brian Brannon. He said he is anxious to get to work.
“It’s very exciting and something I’m looking forward to doing,” Walraven said. “I’ve wanted to try this for a long time and I’m excited about working with my employees. “
For Silvers, getting back into the routine is something he is familiar with going into his eighth year as magistrate judge.
“It’s a continuation with a little more responsibility,” he said. “… but it’s a thrill being able to help people.”
For Ralston, the next four years is going to be about continuing what was started four years ago.
“I’m looking forward to another four years and it will be a little different this time because I know what to expect,” he said. “We’re going to continue in the direction we are trying to go and the goal is to live in a safe community to work, live and raise families.”
Richie, who swore in all the candidates, had a few words of advice for all of them as well.
“I would say seek as much advice as possible from those wiser and with more experience in what they do or in the area in which they work,” he said. The candidates will have plenty of time to put the advice to use.