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Forest Wright

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Forest Wright
Forest Wright.png
Candidate for
Louisiana Public Service Commissioner - District 1
PartyRepublican
Elections and appointments
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sTulane University
Master'sTulane University
Personal
ReligionIndependent energy consultant
Websites
Campaign website
Forest Wright campaign logo
Forest Wright is a Republican candidate for District 1 of the Louisiana Public Service Commission in the 2014 elections.[1]

He previously ran as a 2012 Democratic candidate for District 2 on the commission.[2]

Wright joined the 2014 race for the District 1 seat in the wake of accusations that incumbent Eric Skrmetta sought support for his re-election bid from the Gulf State Renewable Energies Industry Association in exchange for his support for more lenient rules on solar energy. Read more about these ethics concerns in the campaign issues section. Wright's campaign themes available here point out his concern over transparency of board activities and the influence of utilities on board votes.

Biography

Wright spent over 10 years working with Shell International Exploration and The Alliance for Affordable Energy prior to his 2014 campaign.[3]

Education

  • Bachelor's degree, Tulane University
  • Master's degree, Tulane University[3]

Elections

2014

See also: Louisiana down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Wright is running for election to the District 1 seat on the Public Service Commission in 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Campaign issues

Ethics concerns for Skrmetta

Eric Skrmetta (R) attracted attention and challengers for his November re-election bid after ethics concerns emerged in early August. The Times-Picayune published a report on August 5, 2014, detailing an email exchange between the commissioner and Andrew B. Ezell from the Gulf State Renewable Energies Industry Association. This exchange reportedly included a request by Skrmetta for the organization's support ahead of the November election in exchange for his vote in support of more lenient metering policies in Louisiana. Ezell sent the request to members of the association on August 2, only four days prior to commission hearings about lifting the state's limit on payments to consumers using solar panels.[4]

Skrmetta denied wrongdoing or an exchange of favors with solar energy firms following the paper's report. He noted in The Times-Picayune that the commission needed to review metering policy due to concerns about the potential bankruptcy of an unnamed solar firm based in the state. He faces scrutiny from challenger Forest Wright (R) and fellow commissioner Foster Campbell (D).

Wright, an energy policy advocate based in New Orleans, cited Skrmetta's email as a motivation for his 2014 campaign. Wright and Skrmetta support lighter regulations on solar installation firms, though Wright is concerned about the alleged quid pro quo involved in Skrmetta's email. He previously sought the District 2 seat on the board in 2012. Campbell, who is seeking re-election to the District 5 seat, has been vocal in opposing changes to existing metering policy and alleges that Skrmetta's behavior was "borderline illegal."[4][5]

Campaign themes

Wright's campaign website listed the following themes for the 2014 race:

For far too long, the Louisiana Public Service Commission has lacked a focus on actual public service. For the last 6 years, monopoly utility companies have been purchasing favor at the PSC through exorbitant campaign contributions. As customers see their energy bills go up and wonder why we don’t have better options for communications services, they don’t need to look any further than the cozy relationship between the PSC and the companies it’s supposed to be regulating. The fox has been guarding the henhouse for far too long, and Louisiana deserves better.

Forest Wright has spent nearly a decade fighting for public protection at the Public Service Commission. The public should never have to wonder whose side our elected officials are on. That’s why Forest has pledged to not take any campaign contributions from monopoly companies regulated by the PSC.

That’s also why Forest is continuing his fight for transparency at the PSC by promising that he will never restrict the public’s ability to participate in public meetings.

Louisiana is tired of the same old pay to play politics and we’re demanding better. Let’s send a message that our state is no longer for sale this November. Let’s elect Forest Wright to the Public Service Commission. [6]

—Forest Wright's campaign website, (2014), [7]

2012

See also: Louisiana down ballot state executive elections, 2012

Wright ran for District 2 of the Louisiana Public Service Commission in 2012. He faced Scott Angelle (R), Erich Ponti (R), Sarah Holliday (R), and Greg Gaubert (no party affiliation) in the blanket primary on November 6, 2012.[8] Angelle won the primary with more than the simply majority of the vote required to avoid a runoff.[9]

Louisiana Public Service Commission, District 2, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott Angelle 57.2% 213,485
     Democratic Forest Wright 20.5% 76,336
     Republican Erich Ponti 11.6% 43,287
     Republican Sarah Holliday 7.6% 28,214
     Non-partisan Greg Gaubert 3.2% 11,758
Total Votes 373,080
Election Results Via: Louisiana Secretary of State

Campaign donors

2012

Wright lost the election to the position of Louisiana Public Service Commissioner District 2 in 2012. During that election cycle, Wright raised a total of $45,128.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Forest + Wright + Louisiana + Public + Service + Commission + elections"

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Forest Wright News Feed

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Additional reading

See also

External links

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References