Peggy Martin, the chairwoman of the Russell County Commission in Phenix City, has won her challenge against Republican Micah Holland in the District 3 County Commission race.
Gary Head, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party in Russell County, said Holland's name won't appear on the ballot in the March 1 primary because he doesn't live in the north Phenix City district. Martin, a Republican, has no Democratic opposition, paving the way for a possible fourth term on the commission.
Head said Martin challenged whether Holland lived in the district after he qualified for the seat.
"He couldn't prove otherwise," Head said Thursday. The party agreed to refund his qualifying fee and removed his name from the ballot last month, he said.
Holland couldn't be reached for comment. Martin said that her opponent lived in District 2.
"I had someone to say we live in America and he should be able to run anywhere," Martin said. "You have regulations."
With the primary less than two weeks away, Martin said she wants to continue serving the public.
Martin said she is concerned about the infrastructure and maintaining the right-of-ways. She was instrumental in helping residents in the Harris subdivision tap into the city sewer service.
Residents could use the line if they agree to pay for the sewer service. All the homes in the area are on septic tanks, which require cleaning.
"In my estimation, it was a crucial benefit because cleaning septic tanks is expensive, too," she said.
Martin said she treats the office as a full-time job.
"I want to be available to the people and be here with the staff," said Martin who was in her office on Thursday at the Russell County Courthouse. "They need checks signed or documents signed by the chair. Some documents require all commissioners to sign. Listening to them sometime, they just want somebody to hear them."
If she gets a fourth term, Martin said she would like to see more funds in the budget for infrastructure and improve the county's relationship with the city.
"I really want us to work closer with the city and the city to work closer with county," she said. "I look at the whole picture, all districts. We are serving all the people regardless of whether they could vote for me or not. They are constituents of the districts of Russell County. It behooves us to work together."
Martin said she's always available to residents for issues that she may or may not be able to solve.
"There may be something I can't do," she said. "I want to be up front with them. I want to be transparent with them."
The longtime commissioner said she has fulfilled the duties of commissioner in District 3.
"I will try to work with each individual and group," she said. "If you call on me to be available in an organization meeting or whatever, I want to be there. I have done that in the past, even at Fort Benning."
Name: Peggy J. Martin
Hometown: Phenix City
Education: A graduate of Central High School in 1955, attended Chattahoochee Valley Community College and Troy University in Phenix City where she received a bachelor's and master's degree in counseling.
Experience: Worked 33 years in Tom's Food in Columbus and attempted a run for Probate Court judge but lost in 1994. She won a seat on the Phenix City Council in 1995 and was elected mayor in 1998. She has served on the Russell County Commission since 2004.
Family: Widow, mother of two adult sons and two daughters, a grandmother and great grandmother.