SD PUC Race Attracting A Lot Of Attention
by Jill Johnson
November 05, 2012 7:55 PM
The Public Utilities Commission impacts our lives everyday. They regulate energy, Telecommunications and grain warehouse companies located in the state. That's perhaps why this race is important to so many.
Democratic PUC Candidate Matt McGovern said, "Yesterday, we were in Yankton and Vermillion. The day before that we were all over Northeastern South Dakota."
"I've been on the road 60,000 miles this past year," said Republican PUC Commissioner Kristie Fiegen.
If you haven't seen the candidates running for PUC in person, you've most likely seen them on T.V. The conversations about one other, a little heated, especially among these two.
PUC's Commissioner, the Republican candidate, Kristi Fiegen is a former state legislator and president of Junior Achivement of South Dakota. She was appointed to serve the final two years of another commissioner who resigned and is asking to serve a full six year term. In her way, is Democratic candidate for PUC Matt McGovern, running in his first race ever. And both aren't backing down. In his ads, McGovern claims the PUC has let utility companies charge customers too much.
McGovern said, "South Dakotans want a commissioner who is going to look out for their interest and help keep those rates low and not get so concerned about personal attacks."
Attacks that have questioned McGovern's background.
Fiegen said, "My focus is always fighting for families so I am not the politician, I really believe in fighting for families every single day because if you don't fight for families the utility rates go up and really hurts the pocketbooks of families."
You wouldn't know it by their ads but they are facing another opponent, Libertarian Russell Clarke, who is sitting back and watching it all. The former professor and Esurance employee has done little campaigning. He wants it to be more about his party and less about his name.
"The ultimate success would be to win, but to get people to actually check that box or circle for a Libertarian candidate, that's a success.," said Libertarian PUC Candidate Russell Clarke.
As a Libertarian, he says he would provide South Dakotans with a better understanding of the issues and let the free market decide what's best for the state.
"In order for the people of South Dakota to have a voice, they need the PUC to examine all sides," said Clarke.
Although the underdog in a dog fight., he just wants to get as many votes as possible.
There are two more candidates running for Public Utilities Commission, Democratic Candidate Nick Nemec and the incumbent Chris Nelson who is a republican. It is a four year term rather than a six year term.