Kehr’s race was close

Published 9:34 am Thursday, November 6, 2008

Albert Lea businesswoman Ellen Kehr was elected as the 3rd Ward city councilor Tuesday, defeating Ryan Sabinish 829 to 781.

“I’m honored the voters of the 3rd Ward chose me to represent them on the City Council,” Kehr said. “I plan to do my best for the people. They deserve the best I have to offer from the first day to the last day.”

Even though he was not the winner, Sabinish said he was delighted with the number of votes he got. He credits the votes to taking the time to knock on doors. He plans to stay involved.

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“I’m going to get involved with committees,” Sabinish said. “I’m going to continue to go to council meetings, and I’m going to support Ellen. I’m there for her and I’m there for the people of Ward 3.

“I’m excited at what a 27-year-old no name could do when he works hard,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to be this close.”

Kehr said her next step will be to go to City Hall and meet the people working behind the scenes. She said she hopes to continue to serve on the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency board.

“I’m looking forward to working with the other city councilors,” she said, adding she’s been attending city budget workshops and while this year will bring changes, next year will probably bring more.

“The issues the state is facing will trickle down and we need to be prepared for that,” she said.

“But if the responsibility falls more to us, so will the solutions,” Kehr said. “We can make them what’s right for us.

“I’d love to see the economy turn around, and I do think we have a bright future here.”

Kehr, who is married to Randy Kehr, the executive director of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, was recognized as the Albert Lea Business and Professional Woman of the Year in 2001 and as the Chamber Ambassador of the Year in 2003. Randy Kehr became the chamber director in 2007.

She has also been a board member of the Albert Lea Children’s Center, the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, the Albert Lea Lions Club and the Freeborn County Chemical Dependency Center.