Voters return Everett to PSC, set up runoff for second seat

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ATLANTA -- Republican incumbent Doug Everett won re-election to the Public Service Commission, but a second seat will be decided in a December runoff.

Everett glided to a second term with a 35-point lead over Libertarian challenger John Monds in the 1st District race with 95 percent of the precincts reporting.

In the 4th District contest, Republican Lauren “Bubba” McDonald’s 49 percent wasn’t enough to win outright and will put him in a runoff with Democrat Jim Powell who garnered 46 percent. Libertarian candidate Brandon Givens had 5 percent of the vote in the election to replace outgoing GOP Commissioner Angela Speir, who crossed party lines to endorse Powell in September.

Speir had upset McDonald six years ago when he served as a Democrat.

Elections for the PSC, which regulates investor-owned utilities, telecommunications and transportation, are usually lackluster contests. But this year’s election gained attention due to a pending decision on whether to build two nuclear power plants, and due to Secretary of State Karen Handel’s attempt to disqualify Powell days before the July primary over questions about his residency.

Powell, who said he was the victim of a partisan vendetta from the Republican Handel, ultimately prevailed in the Georgia Supreme Court last week.

This week the commission began its review of Georgia Power’s $6.4 billion proposal to add two new nuclear reactors to Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro. A decision is expected in March.

The commission will also face decisions on the emergence of renewable energy in the state’s power market.

Commissioners are elected to six-year terms and are paid $117,000 a year.

Jake Armstrong can be reached at (404) 589-8424 or jake.armstrong@morris.com.


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