Copeland, Thrash vie for District 4 seat

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

The general election will be held on Tuesday and in addition to choosing the next president, Pike County residents in District 4 will be voting in a new county commissioner.

The two candidates are Republican Chad Copeland and Democrat Steve Thrash.

Whichever candidate wins the seat will have tough shoes to fill as both are political newcomers looking to replacing Ray Goodson, who served in the seat for 24 years.

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Copeland’s background is in construction, working in the field since he got out of high school. He is currently the construction manager at Troy Cablevision. Copeland said that his experience in the industry could give him extra insight when considering how to move forward on replacing the Pike County Jail.

“The jail is going to be a large task for the next commission,” Copeland said. “A lot of what I do managing budgets and crews will give me insight into some of the things someone not in construction might not know about. The biggest thing though is not to hastily make a decision. The jail didn’t get this way overnight and it’s not going to be fixed overnight.”

Copeland said his and his wife’s 16 years of service at Methodist Church with the youth spurred him to run for office.

“We’ve always talked to them about affecting their community and serving the community,” Copeland said. “We just decided to practice what we preached. We just saw some need and things we can do better.”

Copeland said one of his top priorities is transparency and getting information out to the public. He also said getting more funding for roads is an important issue.

While Thrash has never served in political office, he has worked with government in Pike County s part of the Brundidge Housing Authority (BHA) and Troy Housing Authority (THA).

He started as a building inspector with the BHA in 1987 as building inspector and modernization coordinator and a year later served in the same role at the THA, as well as being the maintenance supervisor. He returned to the BHA in 1997 to be executive director and maintenance director and still serves in that role today.

Thrash said that his work with a government entity prepared him for a role as county commissioner.

“I am very familiar with how to prepare and work within a government budget and how to get things done,” Thrash said. “I have long thought that I would like to take that knowledge and skill and put it to work for the people of Pike County.”

Thrash has pledged support of local law enforcement, the school systems, infrastructure and local business organizations.

Thrash said he would be a “public servant” instead of a “politician.”

“Our county, our state and our country are far more important than petty disagreements and political nonsense,” Thrash said.

District 4 residents will decide which of these candidates will serve as their next commissioner. The election is on Tuesday, November 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Information on where to vote is available at the Pike County Courthouse.