Four candidates vie for District 2 commissioner’s seat

Published 2:49 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The LaGrange Daily News is doing a series to help voters get to know the candidates for the upcoming local elections on May 21. Today we are writing about the Troup County Board of Commissioners District 2 seat.

A pair of candidates, James Thrailkill Sr. and April Loftin are challenging incumbent Ellis Cadenhead for the Republican nomination for the District 2 seat. Democrat Andrew Moody Sr. is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Thrailkill is a small business owner and a lifelong resident of Troup County. He said he bought the business when he was 20 years old and has run West Georgia Glass for 35 years.

Loftin is the owner of Panache 1833 Salon. She said she started doing hair in 1998 and brought the business back to LaGrange in 2017.

Moody is a retired Army veteran having served from 1976 to 2000, where he was a Human Resources Manager and instructor teaching management and communication. He also worked as a systems engineer during his career.

Cadenhead is completing his second term on the Board of Commissioners. He currently owns a cattle farm and is a longtime Troup County volunteer fireman. Before retirement, Cadenhead worked in utilities serving as the assistant general manager for utilities in Newnan, and helped create the Coweta Water Authority where he served as general manager.


Thrailkill said he has a passion for what happens in Troup County and a passion for the rural community.

“This is something that’s been on my heart and my mind the last eight to 10 years,” Thrailkill said. “I’ve been working for it because of the Planning and Zoning Board and the Election Board.  I’ve just got a passion for what happens in Troup County and the rural areas of the county.”

Loftin said she was inspired to get into local politics to fight government overreach.

“Our local state and federal government pretty much set a fire in me in 2020. In March of 2020, that was when the government decided to start labeling businesses essential and non-essential. So being a salon owner, I unfortunately got the label of being non-essential,” Loftin said.

“During that time of COVID, when everybody’s world was flipped upside down, mine kind of took a different toll. I was told to close my doors and that just really just didn’t sit well with me,” she said.

Moody said that he’s running for the Board of Commissioners to make changes.

“We need to make changes there to improve community development, bring in more businesses and improve the infrastructure, grow the town, build more houses to bring more businesses in,” Moody said.

“I have a five-point platform for economic development, affordable housing, education and youth programs, infrastructure improvements and public safety,” Moody said.

Cadenhead said his original inspiration for wanting to be a commissioner was his love for the people of Troup County and wanting to help them. He said when he first began considering it, and he spoke with the late Commissioner Buck Davis about running against him for his seat.

“He said if you’ll get let me run one more time, I won’t run anymore. He lived up to those words and I ran in his place and won,” Cadenhead said.

That was two terms ago, he said.


Thrailkill said he would look at it with a business mindset.

“It would come down to where there’s a need for it and how it benefits the county and the citizens of the county. One of the first things I would look at — because that’s the way I run my business— is the value of it worth what you’re going to get out of it,” Thrailkill said.

Loftin said understanding what each department does is important for understanding how to spend taxpayer dollars. She said she recently began speaking with different departments at the government center to get a better understanding of what they do.

“I think educating the citizens on how those budgets are made would be the best way to try to evaluate how the spending is. I do believe that we have some frivolous spending going on that concerns me and I’m eager to get in there and see budgets and understand budgets a lot more than what I do just as a regular citizen,” Loftin said.

“I would try to evaluate the needs and the impact and analyze the costs compared to how far-reaching and what kind of impact it would have,” Moody said.

Cadenhead said you need to look at it from different perspectives, whether there is a need and whether you have the money. He said he also prefers to do business with local companies.

“You’ve also got to make sure you get quality. Quality means a lot so you really have to look at it. We get an agenda ahead of time so that we can take a look at it and if we have a question the department heads can answer them before we vote,” Cadenhead said.


Thrailkill said he isn’t happy with the way the turnover happened.

“There’s still people upset about how it was handled,” Thrailkill said.

“I think [the county] waited too long. I felt that it should have been handled several years ago. I think they waited until it was about to fester before they tried to solve the problem. I didn’t like the company aspect because it ties people to one company. I don’t think that’s a good thing.  I wish there had been a little bit more of a business mindset to it,” he said.

Loftin also took issue with the trash turnover.

“I think the trash situation was waking up a sleeping giant in Troup County. I think it has had a lot of backlash. I think it is one of the main reasons why this election is going to be so important and I hope that the citizens understand that the true way to get change in our government and leadership right now will be this election,” Loftin said.

Moody said residents should be getting better service for what they are paying.

“We should have the right to dump whenever we like to. Five days a week, especially on Saturday,” Moody said. “The service we had before the change was much better … the company we had was doing a fine job and I had no complaints. Now you’ve got complaints.”

Cadenhead said he knows people are upset with the sanitation change and he voted against it.

“I voted against the trash [change]. If I had to vote again, I’d still vote against it. We could have done an alternative method for a couple of years and if it didn’t work we could switch over to what we have,” Cadenhead said. “I really didn’t like the process of having just one franchise. Customers need to have a say in some things and I believe trash is one of them.”