Political Notes — Wise will leave PSC after delivering one last vote for Vogtle

[private]Public Service Commission Chairman Stan Wise has informed Gov. Nathan Deal that he will resign from the PSC early next year — but only after having the opportunity to deliver one more vote for the nuclear boondoggle at Plant Vogtle.

“After careful thought, I have decided that early next year, I will resign, creating a vacancy mid-term,” Wise said in a recent letter to Deal, who would appoint Wise’s successor.

The PSC is scheduled to vote in February on whether to authorize Georgia Power to continue with the Vogtle nuclear project, which is now nearly $4 billion over budget and more than four years behind schedule.

“As an unabashed supporter of nuclear power, I intend to be present for that vote and will resign shortly thereafter so that you may appoint my successor prior to the qualifying period for the 2018 elections,” Wise wrote to Deal.

Wise and the other four Republicans on the PSC are expected to give Georgia Power the go-ahead to continue construction work on the two reactors.

Wise was first elected to the PSC in 1994. Had he run again for reelection next year, he was expected to face Democratic opposition, with the Vogtle project being the main campaign issue.

In addition to the Wise seat, Deal will get another appointment opportunity in Columbus, where Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan recently disclosed he will retire from the bench as of Dec. 31.

Sterling is out

Michael Sterling, one of 12 candidates running for mayor of Atlanta, quit the race just two weeks before election day.

Sterling was lagging far behind in the polls when he said he would endorse City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.

“The voters have made it clear that as much as I’ve tried, my message just hasn’t resonated the way I thought it would, and so I want to put my support behind somebody who still shares the values, who’s still going to address the challenges that Atlanta faces, and that’s council president Mitchell,” Sterling said.

Kemp, Hill announce leadership teams

Secretary of State Brian Kemp and former legislator Hunter Hill announced their leadership teams in the upcoming Republican primary for governor, with both candidates claiming they are the first to be organized in all 159 counties.

“What an honor to have hundreds of friends, supporters, and fellow Republicans join Team Kemp,” Kemp said. “I am beyond grateful for the energy, tenacity, and strength of our grassroots army.”

“As a combat veteran of three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand how vital boots-on-the-ground leadership is to the success of any mission,” Hill said.

Honors

Ross King, executive director of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), has been elected president of the National Council of County Association Executives (NCCAE).

Dr. Frank McDonald, a neurologist and the chair of operations at the Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville, is the new president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG).

“As MAG’s president, I believe that I also have an obligation to help patients and physicians in the state navigate what have become the treacherous waters of the health care third party payer and insurance system,” McDonald said.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: ACCG , Brian Kemp , Hunter Hill , MAG , Plant Vogtle , Stan Wise