This year is an election year, and a number of local offices are open in Sequatchie County. Dunlap News is posting two or three candidate biographies each week on the Feature page. We encourage anyone running for local office to email us information and a photo for publication. Each post needs to be under 2,000 characters, include your age, experience, and reasons for running for office.
REGISTER OF DEEDS
Kendra Boyd, 45, currently serves as Register of Deeds, and is running for reelection.
“The Register of Deeds is responsible for filing and protecting many legal documents including deeds, powers of attorney, land plats, military discharges and others,” Boyd said recently. “During my first term, I achieved my designation as a Certified Public Administrator through the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service. Reaching this goal allows me to have a more thorough understanding of the duties and legal concerns of the office of Register of Deeds.
“We work diligently daily to keep a clean audit record. Our office has had 3 years with no findings and will continue to work toward that goal, if re-elected.”
Boyd has served as Register of Deeds since 2014, and before that, taught in the Sequatchie County School System for 12 years. She holds a master's degree in the field of education. She is a member of the County Officials Association of Tennessee, the Register's Association, and the Middle Tennessee Register's Association.
Recent developments in her office include e-recording of closings, in-house processing of plats, and back-indexing of old documents.
“We have currently back indexed near 4000 documents,” Boyd said. “We will continue to scan and index until all remaining documents are backed up and cross-indexed electronically.”
Boyd is active with Valley Fest and the Sequatchie County Alumni Association. She is a board member for the Sequatchie County Governor's Pre-K Program and serves on the Election Board for Bledsoe Telephone Cooperative. She has been married to Larry Boyd for 21 years, and they have two daughters.
CIRCUIT COURT CLERK
Rhonda Rheal is challenging for the position of Circuit Court Clerk.
“I have a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and feel that my education and experience have prepared me to serve the needs of both the office and the citizens of this community,” Rheal said recently.
“I have been employed by the United States Postal Service since December of 2011. I am thankful for my job, which has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of good people and has also allowed me to make a good living, but now I am ready to make a difference. As Circuit Court Clerk, I feel I can do just that.”
Rheal worked in the Dunlap Post Office for three years before transferring to a different office, and believes her experience in customer service will suit her to serving the community “in a kind and compassionate manner.”
“People from all walks of life do business with the Circuit Court,” Rheal said. “The office affects the citizens of the community, the judiciary, sheriff’s office, probation departments and various other government agencies. It is the main artery of the court system and should be occupied by someone with a vision for how the office should operate.
"My background in Criminal Justice has prepared me with the knowledge and diligence it takes to ensure the collection of fines, stay on budget, and still remain accessible to the public.”
Rheal lives on Cagle Mountain with Mike, her husband of 21 years. The Rheals have three children and two grandchildren.
LT. COY M. SWANGER
Coy M. Swanger, 44, is running for the position of sheriff that will be vacant when Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock retires this year.
“I have worked only three jobs in my life,” Swanger said recently, “When I was 13 years old, I began working at Cates Pharmacy. I worked there until I graduated high school.”
Then he went to work at the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Department, where he served from 1994 until 1998, when he was hired as a patrolman for the Dunlap Police Department.
Swanger has been on the Dunlap police force for the past 20 years, rising to the rank of sergeant in 2004 and lieutenant in 2005. As lieutenant, he is second in command.
“I currently supervise two sergeants, two detectives, six police officers, and two administrative assistants,” he said. On three occasions, he has served as interim chief of police while Chief Clint Huth was deployed as a Navy reservist.
Swanger is the primary firearms instructor for the Dunlap Police Department, and has been firearms instructor at the Cleveland State Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy.
In 2015 he became the Academy ranger master, responsible for police firearms training and supervising about 15 adjunct firearms instructors during the firearms portion of the Academy.
A lifelong resident of Sequatchie County and a 1991 graduate from Sequatchie County High School, Swanger serves as a board member for the Sequatchie County-Dunlap Chamber of Commerce and Joint Economic and Community Development Board.
He belongs to the National Rifle Association, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #78, the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, and the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Officers Association.
He has been married to Cathy Harmon Swanger for 21 years, and they have three children.