Grams enters race for county commission

LAWRENCEVILLE - Lorraine Green's former campaign manager announced a race to succeed her on the county commission.

Mark Grams, a 44-year-old Lawrenceville man, announced Wednesday he would seek the District 1 seat Green plans to vacate to run for commission chairman.

"We are well past the point of hoping things will fix themselves or simply spending more money to fund yet another study," Grams said. "More needs to be done now to get our traffic moving again, and that is why I am asking for voters' support. I will focus on traffic relief from the start."

Grams said he supports expanding high-occupancy vehicle lanes along Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 316 and the possibility of using toll lanes to pay for transportation improvements. He also supports "establishing a locally managed light passenger rail service connecting Gwinnett to downtown Atlanta," he wrote in a press release.

"We are going to need a strong leader dedicating many hours to bring about these multifaceted solutions," Grams said. "I am committed to doing what is necessary to end the gridlock strangling Gwinnett County."

In July, Grams is expected to face former Duluth Mayor Shirley Lasseter in the Republican primary.

Grams said he worked for former vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp while he served in the U.S. Army Reserves and for the Republican Party in St. Paul before beginning his career in sales. Grams retired from his job to concentrate on raising his sons.

Locally, he is the chairman of the Gwinnett County Airport Authority, was appointed to the county's Merit Board and is a graduate of the 2007 class of Leadership Gwinnett. He is also president of his homeowners' association in the Huntcrest community.

SideBar: Grams File

Mark Grams

· Party: Republican

· Residence: Lawrenceville

· Age: 44

· Education: Bachelor of science in business from the University of Minnesota

· Occupation: Retired from sales management

· Family: wife Laura, sons Ryan, 11, and Colin, 8