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Troup County GOP introduces Board of Commissioners candidates

By Tyler H. Jones

tjones@civitasmedia.com

Cadenhead
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_CadenheadWEB-2.jpgCadenhead
Davis
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_DavisWEB-2.jpgDavis
Woodruff
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_WoodruffWEB-2.jpgWoodruff
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LaGRANGE — The Troup County Republican Party on Thursday introduced its candidates for the May 24 primary during a meet-and-greet at the Hollis Hand Elementary School auditorium.

Republican candidates and nonpartisan school board candidates in contested races were given five minutes to make their case for why they are the best person for the job, although no questions were taken because of time constraints.

The Daily News is presenting highlights from each candidate’s speech. Because of length, we have serialized this topic and today present the candidates for Troup County Board of Commissioners. Note that there are no Democrats running for the position.

On Friday, we presented candidates for Troup County Board of Education, and over the weekend presented candidates for Troup County Tax Commissioner. Copies of those editions are on sale at our office at 105 Ashton St., or the stories can be found at www.lagrangenews.com.

In the interest of informing the public, we have videotaped the candidate’s speeches have made them available online at www.lagrangenews.com/election2016 in their entirety. The website also includes information about voting registration deadlines and polling dates. Every candidate who spoke at Thursday’s meet-and-greet is available online. The site also offers online polls where readers can choose which candidates they prefer.

Troup County Board of Commissioners, District 2:

• Ellis Cadenhead, a retired utilities manager, said he spent his career working for Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company and later worked for both the city of Newnan and Coweta County. He retired from Newnan’s utility department in 2004, and during his tenure there helped manage a budget of about $70 million.

In 2008, he said he came out of retirement to work for Coweta County Water Department, and helped turn the department into a more autonomous authority, bringing a water treatment and a sewage treatment facility — two separate facilities — online.

Cadenhead went on to express his concerns about the funding of public safety in Troup County.

“Public safety needs our help here in Troup County,” he said. He noted high turnover rates in the sheriff’s office and the Troup County Fire Department, and said many applicants were taking the jobs to earn their certification and then leaving to take higher-paying jobs in other counties.

Pivoting to taxes, Cadenhead said he is concerned about the county’s millage rate and he was interested in finding new revenue streams for the county that would bring more money in without raising taxes. He said he is worried about how property tax rates affect senior citizens and that “(they) are really suffering, and if there’s anything we can do to make that different, I’m interested in having revenue come in without raising taxes… .”

• Cadenhead is facing fellow Republican candidate William H. Lee of Hogansville in the May 24 primary. Lee did not attend Thursday’s meet-and-greet.

Troup County Board of Commissioners, District 3:

• Lewis C. Davis Jr., a home builder by trade, touted his experience in various leadership roles. He is the former chair of the Troup County Republican Party, has held membership on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of West Georgia and is the president of the LaGrange Kiwanis Club.

He said he wants to ensure Troup County remains a “great place to live, to work and to raise a family,” and said he hopes to encourage young people to stay in Troup County or return here as adults.

As commissioner, Davis pledged to listen to his constituents and work with other commissioners to solve problems.

“A commissioner must be able to listen to the citizens’ concerns, understand their needs and be able to translate that to other commissioners,” he said. “No one commissioner can do that alone.”

He said as commissioner, he would manage the county’s nearly $40 million carefully, allocating resources in a responsible way that would place the least amount of burden on taxpayers as possible.

“I am a property owner, and I know how hard it is to pay property taxes,” he said. “If elected, I will not forget the burden on taxpayers and spend wisely.”

Davis also said he would work to make government more transparent by working with local TV stations or online streaming services to present Troup County Board of Commissioners meetings to the public. He also said he would work to make public safety positions more competitive with surrounding areas to retain employees.

He said many voters have expressed concerns about lack of retail options in the county, and pledged to work to bring more shopping options while maintaining the area’s rural character.

• Davis is facing incumbent Republican Tripp Foster in the May 24 primary. Foster was unable to attend and sent the following message to attendees: “I had a prior engagement and cannot attend tonight (Thursday) at Hollis Hand. I wish all the candidates the best of luck and look forward to this campaign’s progress.”

Troup County Sheriff

• Although not facing a primary challenger, Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff also spoke at the meet-and-greet. He faces Democrat Richie Bradley in the Nov. 8 general election. Bradley attended the meeting but did not speak, because the meeting was hosted by the county Republican party for Republicans in contested elections. The LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce has previously said it will host future forums for contested, two-party races.

Speaking to the crowd, Woodruff said he’s accomplished many of the goals he campaigned on in 2012, including easing overcrowding in the jail, installing a video visitation system that helps prevent contraband from entering the jail and increased cooperation between surrounding law enforcement agencies.

Editor’s note: Story updated to correct information.

VIDEOS

Visit www.lagrangenews.com/election2016 to view videos of these and other candidates making their stump speeches.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.