The state’s top utility regulator, Louisiana Public Service Commission Chairman Clyde Holloway, said in a prepared statement Wednesday morning that he may not seek reelection this fall.
The 72-year-old former Republican congressman joined the PSC in 2009. He runs a plant nursery near his home in Forest Hill and injured his knee earlier this year.
“I am uncertain at this point whether I will be physically strong enough to serve the nearly one million constituents I represent at the LPSC for six more years,” Holloway said in a statement.
With candidate qualifying three weeks away, Holloway said he wanted to ensure ample time for conservative candidates to enter the race.
“If my health keeps me out of the race, I want to make sure there is enough time for folks who are willing to fight a liberal Obama type of agenda, to get in this race,” Holloway said.
Lake Charles oil executive Mary Leach Werner, the daughter of former Democratic congressman and party leader Buddy Leach, is announcing Thursday her bid for Holloway’s PSC seats. She is holding events in Lake Charles, Eunice, Opelousas, Alexandria and Leesville.
Four of the five elected members of the PSC are in elections this year.
Though some Public Service Commission members are open to limits on their campaign contribut…
PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell, D-Bossier Parish, is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. David Vitter. Commissioner Scott Angelle, R-Breaux Bridge, is running for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette.
Because Angelle and Campbell recently began their six-year terms, if either win this fall, then Gov. John Bel Edwards would have to appoint an interim commissioner until an election could be held to fill the remainder of the terms.
Commissioner Lambert Boissiere, D-New Orleans, is up for reelection this fall.
The only PSC commissioner without his name on a ballot this fall, yet, is Metairie Republican Eric Skrmetta, who said he would announce by the end of the week whether he would run for the U.S. Senate.
Holloway’s district stretches from Alexandria to Lake Charles. Because privately owned companies are allowed to operate as monopolies in their service territory, the PSC is allowed to oversee and approve business activities that impact the cost of electricity to consumers.
Before being elected to the PSC, Holloway was the congressman for Louisiana’s 8th Congressional District, which was abolished through redistricting because of the state’s stagnant population growth in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 2013 he ran for the congressional seat that Vance McAllister ultimately won.
Most recently, Holloway adamantly opposed the $4.9 billion sale of Cleco, which is headquartered in his district, to equity investors who are taking the utility private.