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Commissioner Russell Edwards running for Public Service Commission

The PSC, elected statewide, regulates public utilities.

Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Russell Edwards is running for the Public Service Commission District 2 seat — Edwards announced his campaign for the Public Service Commission on Friday. The commission is elected statewide and oversees Georgia’s public utilities.

Edwards, who serves Athens-Clarke County District 7, is unable to run for re-election on the commission due to redistricting.

Both the PSC District 1 and 2 seats, representing eastern counties and metro-Atlanta, respectively, are up for reelection this year. Edwards will run against Republican incumbent Tim Echols. Democrat Patty Durand of Gwinnett qualified for District 2 as well, but her district was drawn out by a vote earlier this month, likely making her an ineligible candidate.

In addition to regulating rates for power and gas, the PSC is also in charge of ensuring access to telecommunications. Commissioners continue to oversee funding for Plant Vogtle, the nuclear plant in Waynesboro already delayed for years and extremely over budget.

Last week, a federal judge voted against postponing qualifying for the PSC deciding that there wasn’t enough evidence of a violation of the Voting Rights Act, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The plaintiffs, which include the NAACP, Georgia Conservation Voters and the Black Voters Matter Fund, allege that holding statewide rather than district-only elections discriminates against Black voters by diluting their votes. There is only one Black member on the PSC.

PSC candidates will be on the ballot in the May primary and again for the November general election. Qualifying week ended last Friday, and elligible candidates can be found