Wal­lace re­turned to Floyd County Com­mis­sion

Rhonda Wal­lace beats back a chal­lenge. Larry Maxey and Scotty Han­cock win un­op­posed.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Wag­ner DWag­ner@RN-T.com

It’s al­ways been about the team­work for Floyd County Com­mis­sion Chair Rhonda Wal­lace, who was swept back into of­fice Tues­day for an­other four-year term.

Wal­lace, a Repub­li­can, won 21,490 votes — coin­ci­den­tally, the same num­ber Floyd Coun­tians gave Repub­li­can gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date Brian Kemp. Her chal­lenger, Demo­crat Stephanie Wright, took 8,103 of the bal­lots cast in the Post 1 race, and there were 34 write-ins.

“I didn’t talk to any­body who told me they were un­happy with the com­mis­sion,” Wal­lace said, when asked what sparked the strong back­ing. “There’s a feel­ing that we’re all work­ing to­gether, the city and county, for the first time in years.”

She talked about how the board was able to phase in the in­creases to po­lice of­fi­cers’ salaries and add merit-pay raises for the rest of the county em­ploy­ees as well. And she kept go­ing back to the progress stem­ming from good re­la­tion­ships built be­tween the county com­mis­sion­ers and their city coun­ter­parts.

“I en­joy be­ing able to bring peo­ple to­gether, to lis­ten and fig­ure a way to com­pro­mise,” Wal­lace said. “It’s all about the team and what we can do to­gether.”

Wright, in her first lo­cal po­lit­i­cal out­ing, was cheer­ful in her loss. The psy­chol­o­gist, who’s also an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Ge­or­gia High­lands Col­lege, said she en­joyed the cam­paign and the sup­port she re­ceived from both the lo­cal party and “dif­fer­ent pock­ets of the com­mu­nity.”

“I was hum­bled by peo­ple I didn’t know who sought me out,” she said. “I saw many peo­ple more en­gaged in the process, and that’s so im­por­tant.”

Wright, who was a na­tional Demo­cratic Party del­e­gate when she lived in North Carolina, said she wanted to of­fer a choice.

“So many lo­cal and state po­si­tions go un­chal­lenged, but it’s im­por­tant for ev­ery­one to have a voice,” she said.

Wal­lace, a banker with Synovus, is fin­ish­ing up her first full term, but she’s got two ex­tra years un­der her belt. She was first elected in mid-2012 to fin­ish out an un­ex­pired term.

In 2017, she be­came the first woman to lead the County Com­mis­sion in nearly three decades. Soon af­ter, the board voted unan­i­mously to of­fi­cially change the ti­tle to “chair” from “chair­man.”

The other two county com­mis­sion­ers up for re-elec­tion, Repub­li­cans Larry Maxey and Scotty Han­cock, were un­op­posed. Like Wal­lace, Maxey first won his seat in a 2012 spe­cial elec­tion. Han­cock came to the board in 2014 and is fin­ish­ing his fourth year in of­fice.

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