Tia Lynn Ivey editor
Ben Riden Jr. has thrown his name into the hat for the District 3 County Commissioner seat. Riden announced his candidacy for the District 3 County Commissioner seat last week. Riden will run as a Republican against Dr. Fred Bell, who is also seeking to replace Commissioner Philip Clack when his term expires at the end of the year. District 3 residents will cast their vote in the November elections to decide which of the candidates will take the open seat on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC). “I am not a politician. I have never been one and I have never wanted to be one,” said Riden. “But a lot of people in my district have approached me and asked me to do this, thinking that all my experience in the governmental arena, as well as my reputation for honesty and being straightforward, would make me a viable candidate” Riden, 58, is a life-long Morgan County resident. He graduated from Morgan County High School in 1975 and earned his accounting degree in from the University of Georgia in 1979. According to Riden, he has 35 years of experience in auditing, accounting and governmental finance. Riden, who is now retired from his CPA-position from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, currently still works part-time as a consultant for the board. Ben Riden is married to Terri Riden, a retired teacher from Morgan County Primary School. The couple has raised two sons, Matt Riden and Garrett Riden, who attended Morgan County schools all their lives, too. According to Riden, the people of his district are primarily concerned about fiscal responsibility, especially concerning the county’s role in funding the new hospital project for Morgan Memorial Hospital. “Those are the issues I hear most about,” said Riden.
“If elected, I look forward to visiting with the residents in District 3 to get a sense of their wishes and concerns so that I can work toward addressing those issues. I think I can contribute to making the proper decisions in those areas.” As far as Riden’s stance on county matters, he wants to wait until he has the opportunity to thoroughly analyze the county’s standing before forming any opinions. “I need to get in and look at the situation and look at the budget and what’s going on first,” said Riden. “I need to get a better feeling as to where things are before I make any judgments on what my opinions are at this point.” Riden encourages District 3 voters to ultimately cast their ballots in his favor. “I believe in efficiency and accountability in government,” stressed Riden. “A vote me is a vote for responsible government.”