Who Will Governor Dalrymple Appoint To The Public Service Commission?

Blair Thoreson

Believe it or not, there are still more changes to come for the Public Service Commission.

It’s a little complicated, but here’s what has happened. Brian Kalk was elected to the PSC in 2008 and will be up for re-election next cycle, in 2014. Commissioner Tony Clark left the PSC in June of this year to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He had already announced that he was stepping down from the PSC after his term was up this year, and Randy Christmann was elected on Tuesday to take over that seat next year.

But also elected on Tuesday was Commissioner Kevin Cramer, who in January will take over North Dakota’s House seat currently filled by Rep. Rick Berg.

Cramer has already announced that he’ll be stepping down from the PSC in late December. Cramer was last re-elected to the PSC in 2010, and his term won’t be up until 2016. When Cramer steps down, it will be up to Dalrymple to pick a successor to finish the four years of that term.

So who does Dalrymple pick? I don’t know, but this humble observer would like to see Fargo-area Rep. Blair Thoreson take over that seat. Thoreson challenged Christmann in what was a gentlemanly convention nomination battle. Christmann won, and Thoreson stepped aside, but both were equally qualified candidates.

Now that Christmann has been elected, why not give someone who has already prepared to do the job a shot too?

Thoreson would be the right choice.

Update: A correction, state law would require that anyone appointed to Cramer’s term have their appointment confirmed in the next general election. So whoever gets appointed would have to be on the ballot in 2014 and then again in 2016.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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