Chuck Eaton, a Republican elected in 2018 to a six-year term on the Public Service Commission (PSC), vacated the seat last year when Gov. Brian Kemp appointed him as a Fulton County Superior Court judge. Kemp then appointed Fitz Johnson, also a Republican, to replace Eaton in the PSC District 3 seat until the next general election.
Johnson did not live in PSC District 3 before he was appointed, but Georgia statute exempted him from the residency requirement because he was filling a vacancy. He is now the Republican incumbent for the District 3 seat.
Edwards won the May Democratic primary and avoided a runoff for the District 3 seat. She more than doubled the vote total of second place finisher and energy activist Chandra Farley. Small business owner Missy Moore finished a distant third.
After Edwards won the primary, her two Democratic rivals filed legal challenges. Emerson ruled in Farley’s case after a Tuesday hearing. The judge wrote that “it appears to the court that the General Assembly made an express exception to this (residency} requirement,” according to the ruling.
“I’m elated,” Edwards said Wednesday after the ruling was issued. “I never attempted to deceive anybody. I always said I lived in Cobb County.” Edwards said if she is elected, she has “every intention of... moving to Atlanta or DeKalb.”
Farley’s attorney, Bryan Sells, said a decision hasn’t yet been made on whether to file an appeal. “We’re disappointed with the judge’s ruling,” he said. “We haven’t decided on next steps.”