Gov. Nathan Deal has named a replacement for outgoing Public Service Commissioner Doug Everett, who is stepping down at the end of this year, before his term ends.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce this decision. This Commission has been like a family to me,” Everett said in a release from the PSC. He has served on the PSC since 2003.
The commissioners run for their seats; it’s a statewide election, but this is the second time this year that Deal has had the opportunity to choose a commissioner to replace someone departing early.
In February, he tapped Tricia Pridemore to replace outgoing PSC chairman Stan Wise. In the recent election, she won the race to keep her seat.
Now, Deal has chosen state Rep. Jason Shaw, a Republican from south Georgia, to replace Everett, whose term ends in 2020.
“Rep. Shaw has significant experience both as a businessman and in public service, and I am confident that he will be an effective representative for the people of Georgia as a member of the Public Service Commission,” Deal said in a statement.
Critics of the PSC and its oversight of Georgia Power’s nuclear power expansion at Plant Vogtle were not thrilled. John Hitchins, a Republican who ran against Pridemore in the primary, tweeted his reaction:
Late last year, the PSC voted to allow construction at Vogtle to continue, despite rising costs and slipping timelines. Since then, costs have gone up again. Still, Deal has remained a supporter of the project, as have the commissioners.
The commissioners serve for six years per term, and make more than $116,000 a year. Their terms are staggered; two seats were up for election this year. In addition to Pridemore, Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton was also up for re-election. He’s headed to a runoff with Democrat Lindy Miller.