PSC Speculation

In the wake of news that Pubic Service Commissioner Scott Angelle was being vetted in March for a position with the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, politicos have turned their attention to the possibility of his seat opening up on the PSC.

If Angelle does get a nod from the Trump Administration, then he would have to resign his seat on or before June 14 for a special election to be added to the fall ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. If a move happens after that date, then we’re looking at either a standalone special election or a long drive to the regularly-scheduled election in 2018.

Either way, the governor would be able to appoint a temporary replacement until an election could be held.

Speculation churned over the PSC seat last in 2016 when Angelle was running for Congress. Dr. Craig C. Greene of Baton Rouge, an orthopaedic surgeon, and former Rep. Joe Harrison of Napoleonville were angling hard for the job then. Also thrown into the mix at the time were Rep. Julie Emerson, who has since cultivated deeper roots in the region as the former transition head for Congressman Clay Higgins, and former Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Joel Boe.

Another name to keep in play is Senate Natural Resources Chairman Norby Chabert, from the southern end of the PSC district. Local politicos have been trying to get Chabert to consider running for the seat over the past few years.

From the same area, former Rep. Lenar Whitney has been mentioned as a possible candidate.

Of course, this may all be fruitless speculation unless Angelle has indeed been offered a federal post — and he decides to take it.

This story was first published in the May 5, 2017, issue of LaPolitics Weekly. Wish you would have seen it then? Sign up today and become a subscriber!

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