The Race for Alabama PSC President

A rematch for two women


By CBS-8 Reporter
By Tim Lennox

(Montgomery) -- Among the races voters will decide on November 6 is the race for president of the Public Service Commission, the agency that regulates many utilities in the state. The race is rematch sorts for the two women running.

The first time Lucy Baxley and Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh competed on election day was in 2008...Democrat Baxley narrowly won that race. now she's the last Democrat to hold statewide elective office and is seeking another term. Republican Cavanaugh later won her own seat on the p-s-c, and now she smells blood in the water: She says "so the fact that she's the last remaining democrat in the state of Alabama absolutely it motivates m and i see the potential at the public service commission and that's why I'm running."

Cavanaugh had never held elective office till she won that PSC position in 2010 defeating Jan Cook. ..previously she was chief of staff for Governor Bob Riley and Executive Director and Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.

Baxley says "when they get me out of the statehouse that they will have run all of the democrats, which i can't see why they think that a great thing to think about, now they've got republicans over here in the legislature and they can't seem to agree and get anything done."

Baxley had served as State Treasurer and Lieutenant Governor before she was elected PSC President in 2008... narrowly defeating Cavanaugh.

Baxley suffered  a stroke six years ago: "I can truthfully say my health is good and I feel very capable to ask the people let me serve another four year term in this office."

But Cavanagh says Baxley is not doing enough work: "I'll just lay it out..the voters are really right now just basically paying the current commissioner, if you do the math, about 7-thousand dollars an hour...because she shows up once a month for the job."

Baxley counters: "she has no idea how many hours I put into this job, just as I don't....she can't see my office, walking by here, she could look in and I a lot of hours that I put in are not done at this office.."

One thing both candidates agree is on coal. they're for it:

Baxley: "we've got a lot of coal in Alabama and the coal mines furnish a lot of jobs to good people. and we should be mining out coal and using it, i think."

Cavanaugh: "so what they're doing right now in Washington is absolutely ridiculous.and I'll stand up to the folks in Washington and tell 'em we want to continue using our coal that 5-thousand jobs are directly tied to coal...that if you look at it tens of thousands of jobs are indirectly tied to coal right here in Alabama."

Cavanaugh says her goal is attracting jobs: "this race boils down to jobs and a working commissioner that will be at work every day working for the people of Alabama so their families can put food on the table and pay for their home and the things their children need but it all boils down to jobs.

Baxley is counting on her supporters: "I hope I have 50% of the votes plus one! The people have been very good to me..I have friends around this state and I'm just hoping they will stand with me this time and help me get through this and do one more term of this."

Voters will choose on November 6th whether to return Democrat Baxley to another term as PSC President or to install Republican Twinkle Cavanaugh in the job. 

The deadline to register for the November sixth election is Friday, October 26th.

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