Purcell won without opposition in voting by the 24 members of the House and Senate who represent part of the First Congressional District. She was to face Burton Carter of Waycross, who spent 34 years working for the Department of Transportation before retiring and joining private industry. Carter withdrew his name from consideration before the voting, saying he realized he didn't have enough votes to win.
Retired legislators usually win election to the board because those voting are former colleagues who know them and have grown to trust them. Although a volunteer position, board members devote considerable time to serving as a liaison between the Transportation Department and the legislators on behalf of local governments.
The board is composed of 14 members, one from each congressional district. This year, legislators will vote on eight of the 14 seats over this week and next.
The other election held Wednesday saw another former legislator, Johnny Floyd of Cordele, re-elected in the 2nd District. Thursday's voting will be on the 5th, 6th and 13th districts.
The 1st District was vacant because redistricting resulted in the incumbent, ex-Rep. Jay Shaw of Lakeland, being drawn into the 8th District. The 14th is vacant because it is newly added, and the 6th is empty because board member Brandon Beach resigned when he was elected to the Senate last month.
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