Wallace returned to Floyd County Commission
Rhonda Wallace beats back a challenge. Larry Maxey and Scotty Hancock win unopposed.
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.