Cadenhead and Thrailkill face off in runoff forum

Published 11:08 am Saturday, June 8, 2024

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Troup County’s Board of Commissioners race for the Republican nomination for the District 2 seat on May 21 ended with the leaders in a tie.


Incumbent Ellis Cadenhead received 999 (38%) votes and challenger James Thrailkill also received 999 (38%) votes. Candidate April Loftin received 608 (23%) votes eliminating her from the race.


Cadenhead and Thrailkill will face off in a runoff election on June 18 for the Republican nomination for the District 2 commissioner’s seat. The winner will face Democratic Party nominee Andrew Moody in November.


Both candidates sat down for questions in a forum hosted by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce Thursday evening for another round of questions before runoff. The forum is available for viewing on the LaGrange Daily News Facebook page, along with forums for the Georgia Congressional District 3 runoff and the Troup County Board of Commissioners District 3 runoff.


Below are some of the questions asked and answered during the forum:


What are your long-term goals for Troup County and how do you plan to achieve them?


“My goal is to protect individuals in the rural community,” Thrailkill said. “The mindset between the rural community and the city are different.”


“As far as infrastructure in Troup County, the growth is outrunning our infrastructure. We’ve flown past it. We’ve got to get a grip on it so the infrastructure can catch up with the growth that we’re having. The number of people and apartments and people that are moving here are something that we got to get hold of,” Thrailkill said.  “It’s going to bite us down the road years to come.”


“Public safety is primary,” said Cadenhead. “One of the things that the citizens of Troup County have already approved in SPLOST VI is the countywide camera system. That’s one of the things that we really need to push forward just as fast as we can to have public safety because the crime rate is up and we need to be able to curtail that.”


Cadenhead added that the county needs to look at adding some fire stations to help improve ISO ratings.


How would you balance new development with the preservation of Troup County’s historical sites and heritage?


“You’ve got to be able to have growth but have smart growth,” Thrailkill said. “We’re to the point where we got to let our infrastructure catch up again and make wise common-sense  decisions on what the citizens of Troup County want.”


“It’s hard to do in an area that trying to balance things when new development comes in. They want to put it in, put it in, put it in, and then you’ve got rural areas that want to remain rural,” Cadehead said. “We’ve already got some areas with a five-acre minimum. We have some that are two-acre minimum. So we got to continue to maintain that discipline that we’ve got placed already.”


What can the county and the commissioners do to improve the public’s trust and the election system?


“I was on the election board. I volunteered,” Thrailkill said. “I will tell anybody you can go up there if you got any question about the election at any time, Andy Harper will make a place you can sit there and observe ballot counting, anything you want to observe if you’ve got questions.”


“I started out as a poll watcher. I started out observing when the ballots come in at night,” he said. “People don’t understand you get a paper ballot, you click it, it prints it you put it in that black box. That black box goes to the courthouse on election night from each precinct. Those paper ballots are in that black box. At the end of the day, the numbers are calculated on the computers there on the chips. The election is not certified until the following week. But during that week, there are audits. Those paper ballots are pulled out and hand-counted to make sure that number matches a computer.”


Cadenhead explained that the county has to follow state regulations and they cannot deviate from state rules.


“The county has to do what the secretary of state demands. We have to make sure that we have storage. We have to have the equipment that they say we need to have. That’s pretty much what we have to do,” Cadenhead said.