Douglas to run for PSC, Lunsford considers Senate

Despite qualifying yesterday for a fourth term in the State Senate, John Douglas has decided to change gears and run for the Public Service Commission (District 2).

Bobby Baker, who currently holds the seat, has decided to retire, during the week of qualifying no less, leaving the GOP looking for a candidate.

State Rep. John Lunsford (R-McDonough) has confirmed that he is looking at the seat Douglas will leave open. I’ve put a call into Douglas, but the Senate was in session at the time so he could not be reached for comment.

[UPDATE] Press release from Douglas below the fold.

(Atlanta) – Senator John Douglas, R-Social Circle, announced today he would withdraw his qualification for re-election to Senate District 17 and become a candidate for the 2nd District Public Service Commission seat being vacated by the retiring Commissioner Bobby Baker.

“I have enjoyed every second of representing the five counties of the 17th District in the Georgia Senate. Now I will work to serve the people of the entire state on the Public Service Commission. While the PSC is little known to many Georgians, it’s mission is to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced telecommunications, transportation, electric and natural gas services.”

“I will use the experience I have gained at both the local and state level of government to ensure the people of Georgia are treated fairly by those companies for which the PSC has oversight. It is imperative that all members of the PSC bring the highest ethical and personal standards to the commission and I will be that candidate. I look forward to serving the people of this great state as a PSC Commissioner.”

Senator Douglas announced that Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers will serves as the Honorary Chairman of his campaign. In addition, Senator Douglas released an impressive list of endorsements from his colleagues in the Senate. Said Senator Douglas, “I am humbled and honored by the support of my Senate brethren and am grateful to have the Senate Majority Leader take such an active role in my campaign.”

Senate Endorsements:

Sen. Buddy Carter, 1st
Sen. Jeff Chapman, 3rd
Sen. Jack Hill, 4th
Sen. Greg Goggans, 7th
Sen. Don Balfour, 9th
Sen. John Bulloch, 11th
Sen. John Crosby, 13th
Sen. Ronnie Chance, 16th
Sen. Ceceil Staton, 18th
Sen. Tommie Williams, 19th
Sen. Ross Tolleson, 20th
Sen. Chip Rogers, 21st
Sen. Johnny Grant, 25th
Sen. Jack Murphy, 27th
Sen. Seth Harp, 29th
Sen. Bill Hamrick, 30th
Sen. Bill Heath, 32nd
Sen. Judson Hill, 32nd
Sen. John Wiles, 37th
Sen. Dan Weber, 40th
Sen. Renee Unterman, 45th
Sen. Bill Cowsert, 46th
Sen. Ralph Hudgens, 47th
Sen. David Shafer, 48th
Sen. Jim Butterworth, 50th
Sen. Chip Pearson, 51st
Sen. Preston Smith, 52nd
Sen. Jeff Mullis, 53rd
Sen. Don Thomas, 54th

During his tenure in the Georgia Senate, John Douglas has served as Chair of the Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee where he has earned the reputation as the veterans’ and military’s best friend. He also served on the Appropriations, Public Safety, Ethics, Higher Education, Education and Science and Technology Committees.

Douglas is a retired Army Officer who served 18 years in the US Army before retiring in 1994. When not doing Senate business, he is a Field Representative for the Peace Officers Association of Georgia. He was first elected to the Newton County Board of Education in 1998, the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002 and the Georgia Senate in 2004. He was the first Republican from Newton County to be elected to both the GA House and Senate. Senator John Douglas, his wife Susan and daughter Katherine reside in Newton County and attend Salem United Methodist Church in Covington.


    • drjay says:

      it may be a bit of a stretch but, a quick perusal of bills he has sponsored does include a smattering tht deal with some utility issues…but i honestly know nothing about him…

    • polisavvy says:

      I certainly can’t think of one. I am not a fan and have not been a fan since he was on the Board of Education here and caused all the national attention on us about rather or not to call it “Christmas Holiday” or “Winter Holiday. A total embarrassment for the county, especially when he appeared on O’Reilly. Made us look quite foolish.

    • Mozart says:

      What qualification did Bobby Baker have when he was first elected in 1992? None.

      What qualification did Angela Speir have when she was elected? None.

      What qualification did Chuck Eaton have when he was elected? None.

      None of these folks have ever had any experience in utility matters before they were elected to serve on the PSC.

      Does this help answer your question, Chris?

      • Part-Time Atlanta says:

        Well, until he can back that up with a long list of legislative endorsements, I don’t know if that’s true.

        • BuckheadConservative says:

          Right. B/c those guys only endorse the most qualified candidate for any race.

          Dammit, I was almost able to type that with a straight face.

  1. polisavvy says:

    Being in his district, I certainly won’t cry about him deciding to jump to the PCS. Not a fan — not a big fan at all of Mr. Douglas.

  2. macho says:

    One of the things I like about Douglas is he always had the guts to come on PP and give his point of view.

  3. Annie Ethel says:

    I always liked working with Sen Douglas.
    I’m more tickled at the mayhem Lundsford will bring to the Senate floor.

    • Chris says:

      Lunsford will announce he’s running, then decide not to file the paperwork at the last minute.

      After his BS stunt with the caucus leadership petition, he cannot be trusted.

  4. CMOB says:

    I hear Andy Welch of Henry County is seriously thinking about running for the vacated office. He would be a good contender.

  5. Jeremy Brand says:

    Once again some of the fearless leaders of Peach Pundit fail to post the things I send to them. No surprise– it is all about what they want but so much for full and real Georgia political news.

    Since they won’t post it, I will.


    Former Newton County Commissioner Ester Fleming Announces his Intentions to Qualify for State Senate District 17.

    Former Newton County Commissioner, Ester Fleming (R-Covington) announced today his bid for State Senate District 17. The Seante District 17 seat is being vacated by Senator John Douglas who has announced his intention to run for Public Service Commission.

    Said Fleming, “I am excited to announce my candidacy for State Senate, and I look forward to earning the trust and support of the people of this district. On the Newton Commission, I had a record of providing common sense, conservative cost cutting measures that saved taxpayers’ money and kept taxes low, and I never supported a tax increase. That’s exactly the record I will take to the State Senate…

    …I am running because now more than ever we need a common sense, everyday Georgian serving us under the Gold Dome. I’m running to solve the problems, not create them. I am running to reform government, prioritize spending in order to keep taxes low. And I will work reduce traffic congestion. But most importantly, I will protect our conservative values in the State Senate.”

    Fleming was elected to serve four terms on the Newton County Board of Commissioners. He has a diverse background as a small business owner, served as a manager for several fortune 500 companies, and is currently employed with the Gwinnett Department of Transportation. Ester has been married to his wife Delia for 38 years and they have three sons and one grandson.

    You’re welcome.

    • polisavvy says:

      I will vote for him. I just wish that he was still our Commissioner. He is sorely missed in that position especially considering our present Commissioner.

  6. JSBarrington says:

    How did Lunsford vote on the tax increase and fee increases recently passed by the general assembly??

    How did he vote for the budget that eliminated the state homestead exemption and raised property taxes on homeowners, business owners, and property owners?

    I don’t know the answer, but I am very curious as to who John Lunsford is and exactly what he has supported.

    I hope someone can answer the question.

    This Ester Fleming has an interesting talking in saying that he wants to be part of the solution and not part of the problem— i would say that Lunsford is part of the problem.

    Who knows.

  7. Walton County Boy says:

    Jeff May will be a far superior PSC member. Actually has legislative background, well networked and a pleasant personality. A bunch of empty Senate endorsements means very little.

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