Ty Collinsworth, a 22-year-old Hocking College student, filed Thursday on the Green Party ticket to run against Phillips, an Democrat from Athens who is serving her first term in the Ohio House.
According to Collinsworth, he is originally from the Dayton area and moved to Nelsonville more than two years ago to study digital design at Hocking College. He said he plans to transfer to Ohio University soon.
Collinsworth’s main reason for challenging Phillips, he said, is her votes on environmental issues such as clean coal and mining underneath Burr Oak State Park.
Collinsworth said he believes there are better alternatives than coal. He said his main focus is the environment.
He also said he doesn’t agree with the proposed mining to create a conveyor system under Burr Oak State Park to transport coal from one side of the park to the other. He said he understands that the park doesn’t want large coal trucks driving through it, however approving any type of mining under a state park is a “slippery slope.”
According to Collinsworth, he has been thinking about running for public office since high school, but this is his first try.
Phillips’ other challenger is Republican Mike Hunter of Athens.
Hunter is the former commander of the State Highway Patrol post in Athens. He retired in 2003 after more than 28 years with the patrol. He later served as interim police chief for the city of Nelsonville.
Hunter’s platforms are to stop unsustainable spending, reduce taxes on workers and to increase jobs in the state.
Prior to representing the 92nd District, Phillips served on Athens City Council as its 4th Ward representative. She has filed for re-election to the Ohio House.
The 92nd District is comprised of Athens, Meigs and Morgan Counties and the southwestern portion of Washington County.