Council candidate Magee hoping to give back in deciding Sussex County’s future

SELBYVILLE – Ask, and you shall receive.

Asked to run, lifelong Sussex County resident and farmer Ellen Magee has answered as a candidate for the District 5 county council seat.

Ellen Magee

A self-described “Blue Dog Democrat” with conservative values and bi-partisan goals she filed on July 9.

“I’ve had quite a few people come to me and ask me to run. They thought that I would do a good job, that I would bring common sense with my decisions,” said Ms. Magee. “I have lived here my entire life. I love my county. And I felt that it was time I gave back and helped make decisions for our future. I am a businessperson and I am a woman in agriculture. Sussex County is very important to me. I felt it was time to give back.”

Owner/partner of Magee Farms, a multi-generation agricultural operation near Selbyville, Ms. Magee believes Sussex County is at a crossroad and decisions need to be made.

“With my common-sense approach to things, I think we can do that. We need to protect and preserve our Sussex County way of life because we definitely do things a little bit different,” Ms. Magee said. “I want to help mold old the future. I am a farmer. I have also grown up near the beach. I also understand tourism. I also understand farming. I want to protect our property rights. Those are things that are pretty important to me.”

This is Ms. Magee’s first attempt at elected office. The 59-year-old Williamsville resident is no newcomer to serving the community and non-profits.

Appointed last year, Ms. Magee currently serves on Sussex County’s Board of Adjustment. She has served on Delaware Burn Camp for last 10 years – including a stint as president – and was instrumental in getting that started.

Ms. Magee is a 38-year/lifetime member of the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company’s Auxiliary, served on the board for Quiet Resort Charitable foundation, is a member of Frankford Chapter No. 12 Order of the Eastern Star and is on the Camp Barnes’ board of directors.

Her major issue agenda includes traffic and roads. “When you go for a zoning change, people complain about the roads. Then the county will say, ‘Well, we don’t deal with that.’ Well, we as a county may not deal with that, but we as people that live here to deal with that. I would like to see DelDOT at these public hearings and listen, because I don’t think they listen,” Ms. Magee said. “We are not going to get any new roads. We have roads that are still dirt roads over in my area. They have tar and chip on them now, but they have always been a dirt road.

“We are directing the traffic, this navigation, our cars are sending us different ways that have never had traffic on it before. So, I think the county and the state, DelDOT, needs to listen to us more and to help us make the best decisions possible,” said Ms. Magee. “And services; we depend on volunteer fire companies and depend on volunteer EMS. We do have one of the best paramedic departments in the nation I believe. That is going to be ever increasing because we live in the best place in the United States.

“Everyone wants to come to Delaware,” she said. “They want to come to Sussex County. We’ve got to prepare for that.”

Economic development and attractive job opportunities are on the list.

“As long as I can remember people have said their children end up going somewhere else because we are not prepared for good jobs that interest our high school and college graduates to stay here in Sussex County,” said Ms. Magee. “To me that is a big deal. I have my own business. My children, two of them decided to follow the family business, the family farm. But How many other families that would love to have their children close by to see their grandchildren grow up and cannot do that because we don’t have the jobs for those people. We have not done that. Yes, it’s free enterprise. We need to encourage more business to Sussex county.”

Ms. Magee will face the Republican primary winner – John Rieley of Millsboro and Kevin Christophel of Laurel – in the November election.

Sussex County Council District 5 runs from Fenwick Island to Delmar, heads north to include parts of Millsboro and also includes the towns of Dagsboro, Frankford, Millville and South Bethany.

Ms. Magee says she is running to “preserve the Sussex County way of life.”

“I want to represent you whether you were born here or you have made the choice to come here for our beautiful beaches and enjoyable lifestyle. It’s a great place to raise your children and I will work tirelessly to make sure that never change,” said Ms. Magee. “Sussex County residents should expect more from their elected officials and when I am elected to county council I will work tirelessly for the residents of the 5th County Council District.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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