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McDonald earns Republican nod for PSC post

POSTED: May 21, 2014 2:00 a.m.

ATLANTA — Incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald of Clarkesville successfully fended off two challengers in the Republican primary for the Public Service Commission District 4 seat.

According to unofficial returns, McDonald beat out Doug Kidd, a lawyer from Lavonia, and Craig Lutz, a Hall County commissioner from Flowery Branch, in Tuesday’s primary.

“I’m very appreciative of the people of Hall County and the support I’ve gotten,” said McDonald, who earned almost 53 percent of the votes cast in the county and 62 percent statewide.

Kidd had 21 percent of votes cast and Lutz earned 17 percent.

McDonald will face off in November against Democrat Daniel Blackman, an environmental planning and policy consultant from Cumming who was unopposed in the primary, and Libertarian Arron Gilmer from Dawsonville.

McDonald said he will continue to push to expand the state’s solar energy portfolio, promising no subsidies or upward pressure on ratepayers.

He said he took the high road and avoided cheap shots even while his challengers were questioning his work ethic during the campaign.

Now he will relaunch his campaign in mid-September to gear up for the general election. He said he expects to lose some votes as the incumbent, but hopes to make up for it with his track record on the commission.

In the meantime, “I’ve got work to do,” he said, adding that he’ll get back to the commission’s business soon.

Lutz said McDonald ran a good race, and he will support him in the general election.

“If you’re going to run a race across the state, it’s difficult to do it with the lack of funds that we did it with,” Lutz said.

What’s next? “It’s way too soon” Lutz said, adding he would finish out his term on the Hall County Board of Commissioners and likely return to the private sector.

“If another opportunity comes forward where I think I could add value, certainly I may jump back in,” Lutz said. “But right now that’s the furthest thing from my mind.” 

Times reporter Joshua Silavent contributed to this story.



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