By Tia Lynn Ivey
Ellen Warren, the sitting District 4 Commissioner for Morgan County, has thrown her hat in the race for re-election this November, running once again as an independent to keep her seat for another four years. Warren, who has served on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners for the last 11-and-a-half years, teetered on the fence between running for reelection and passing the torch to a new commissioner.
“I struggled mightily whether or not it was the right thing to do,” said Warren. “But at the end of the day, I have some projects that I very much want to see completed. I feel these projects will not only benefit my district, but to the entire county.” Warren will face Republican challenger Phillip von Hanstein in November.
Some of those projects include securing solar power for county buildings, the completion of the comprehensive plan, installing countywide broadband, establishing a citizen’s budgetary advisory board, and securing a water source for all of Morgan County.
Warren will run against newcomer, Philipp von Hanstein, a local farmer running for Warren’s seat as a Republican. Warren chooses to run as an independent candidate because of her balance approach to politics.
“I feel like I’m a little bit of everything,” said Warren. “I’m fiscally conservative, but also proactive, believing that we don’t react to things, but that we get ahead of things.”
Warren hopes to remind voters of the Board of Commissioners track record during her time serving. “I hope the public will remember that in 11 out of the last 12 years we have kept the millage rate at or below the rollback rate,” said Warren. “We have no debt except for the public safety complex which we are paying off, and even refinanced to save $400,000 on it, and we have a AA bond rating…We also have a new library, it’s paid for. We have new aquatic center, and it’s paid for. I am proud of the Public Safety Complex because we took an old building and we saved a million dollars, renovated it and now we are using it for the jail, 911, the fire department, EMS, and we lease out the back part, which more than makes up for any loss of tax revenue.”
Warren is looking forward to campaigning, and reacquainting herself with the voters of her district. “I always enjoy talking to people in my district and meeting the new faces who have moved into our county,” said Warren. “I enjoy campaigning and getting my message out, but I won’t be neglecting county business to do it.”