Election officials were still tallying ballots, but Blackman, 40, had landed nearly three-fourths of the votes counted in his race against fellow Democrat John Noel, a 49-year-old Augusta resident. The winner in the primary will face Republican incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, one of the commission’s longest serving members, in the fall general election.
The PSC regulates some utilities, particularly Georgia Power, and natural gas distributor Atlanta Gas Light. It has oversight not only over Georgia Power’s rates but also what kind of energy generation plants it builds. Crucially, the five-member commission will decide how much of the costs of Georgia Power’s long-troubled multi-billion-dollar Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion will be passed on to customers.