Georgia Democrats need ASAP to select a candidate to run for a seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission in elections scheduled for 2024. Meanwhile, the postponed PSC elections that were supposed to take place in 2022—for which Democrats already have candidates—may take place this year. Here is IndieDems look at the background of the pending PSC elections. Patty Durand, one of those Democratic candidates, contributed significantly to the writing of this article.
The Unresolved 2023 Elections. Elections for the seats in Districts 2 and 3 were scheduled to take place last year. Democratic candidates were prominent environmentalist Patty Durand for District 2 and Sheila Edwards for District 3. Due to legal questions about the method of electing members, a judge postponed the elections. A new date has yet to be announced. Patty and Sheila still intend to run for those seats.
Another Seat is Now Due for Election. The seat for PSC District 5 is up for election in November 2024. District 5 includes Cobb County. The Republican incumbent is Tricia Pridemore, who is from Marietta.
Democrats need now to find someone in the Cobb County area to run against Commissioner Pridemore. Reminder: PSC candidates must reside in the district where the seat is located, but every Georgia voter is eligible to vote for each seat. According to experience, statewide candidates need an 18-month head start to raise enough money to reach enough voters. We are already within that time frame.
We Democrats who are active in this campaign personally believe it would be a bonus to have a female running for the seat, because Ms. Pridemore is the only female on the Commission, and we would feel more comfortable having her replacement be one, too. But rest assured—Democrats will eagerly support any male who becomes the Democratic candidate!
One additional point: The final judicial ruling is still pending on how future PSC elections will be conducted. Something new may be in place by the end of this year.
The best credentials for a candidate would obviously be someone with energy knowledge or background, who cares about climate change, and has experience in running for office or is willing to take his/her first plunge.
A tall order, we know. That’s why we are reaching out to Democrats to try to identify one or more good candidates now. If you don’t know of anyone is there someone you could ask or could you reach out to your networks?
The PSC is of critical importance to addressing climate change. The all-Republican commission is the reason Georgia is in 43rd place in state rankings for rooftop solar and is too low to even rank for community solar. They have also underinvested in demand response and energy efficiency and myriad other policies that are routine in other states to save money and avoid energy waste.
Please email me if you have any questions, are interested in becoming a candidate, or know someone who might be: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PSC DISTRICT MAP. District 5 is the large green area on the left side of the map, bordered on the west by the Chattahoochee River.