By Tia Lynn Ivey
Ben Riden Jr. announced he will seek reelection to Morgan County Board of Commissioners. Riden, who won the District 3 seat in 2016, is hoping to secure a second term. As of now, he is running unopposed, but there is time for others to enter the race.
Fiscal responsibility is the cornerstone of Riden’s governing philosophy, providing a “keen eye” to inspect the county’s budgetary priorities.
“I tend to focus on the financial side of things,” said Riden, who has more than 30 years experience in financial work. “The biggest thing I hear from people is to hold the line on taxes—to do our due diligence and maintain the line on spending so we don’t have to raise property taxes. We should operate within the confines of our budget.”
Riden is a life-long Morgan County resident. He graduated from Morgan County High School in 1975 and earned his accounting degree 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.
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.
As Riden enters his fourth year as a county commissioner, he’s proud of what the board has accomplished and the experience he’s gained as a result.
“I have enjoyed representing the district and the county,” said Riden. “I am not a politician and have never done it before this. Friends talked me into it because of my financial background, that it would be good to have a numbers person in there..Now, I’ve also learned a lot about how the county operations and a lot more about the political side of things. It’s been a good learning experience. I came in with a good bit of knowledge but have learned a lot more. I think we have made some positive changes and I hope to get the chance to keep going with this and improving the county.”
Riden will be on the ballot for the District 3 County Commissioner Seat in the May 19 General Primary Election.