No doubt you’ve heard about Republican Bobby Baker’s decision not to seek re-election to the state Public Service Commission.
Here’s the lead of this morning’s piece by my AJC colleague Margaret Newkirk:
The longest serving member of the state Public Service Commission – and the commission’s best known advocate for utility consumers – won’t be running for re-election this year, the AJC has learned.
Commissioner Robert Baker will leave the regulatory body at the end of the year, after 18 years as a watchdog over Georgia’s utility companies.
You have to know that a half-dozen lawmakers are drooling over the last-minute opening. A legislator’s part-time salary is about $17k. The PSC post pays $117,000, with a free car and phone. But an Athens area residency is required.
One name we’ve heard: Former Athens mayor Doc Eldridge, currently president of the Athens-Clarke County Chamber of Commerce.
Updated at 12:50 p.m.: Other names have since joined the mix, all Republican:
– Tim Echols, now a political strategist with the John Oxendine campaign for governor. “As a father of seven and a leader of a national youth-oriented non-profit, regulation is a daily activity for me. Traveling the state with John Oxendine as his senior policy advisor has really given me a firsthand look at how dependent we are on some of these industries that the PSC regulates,” he writes.
– State Rep. Jeff May of Monroe;
– and Mike Beatty, the former GOP candidate for lieutenant governor and current commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs.
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