Hopefully everyone reading this right now knows that both of the Georgia U.S. Senate races have progressed to runoff elections on January 5th. But there’s a third race on that same ballot, and it isn’t getting nearly enough attention.
The Georgia Public Service Commission is a state agency that is responsible for regulating Georgia’s public utilities, and right now, all five commissioners on the commission are Republicans. Among their responsibilities are setting rates on electric bills, and determining state investments into renewable energy. Does that sound like something Republicans take seriously?
Democrat Daniel Blackman sure doesn’t. He’s running for the District 4 Commissioner seat (which covers the northern part of Georgia) because he doesn’t think the Commission has been taking fighting climate change a priority and because he thinks the Commission has been too friendly with Georgia’s energy companies, at the expense of Georgian families.
Blackman has a long history of advocating for environmental justice. He has served as an advisor to the Congressional Black Caucus and EPA on Environmental Justice issues, and was appointed by the Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation to serve on an Environmental Policy Commission, among other roles.
His race against the 81 year old incumbent, Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr. was unexpectedly competitive. Because McDonald failed to get 50% of the vote, the race is going to a runoff.
This runoff was originally scheduled for December 1, but was combined with the January 5 elections, which I think could help all three elections. Blackman’s history of fighting for disenfranchised Georgians and wanting to reduce people’s utility bills could help bring out a subset of voters that might not come out to vote for the Senate races. And on the flip side of the coin, the surge in activity to build turnout for the Senate races could have an effect down ballot on Blackman’s race.
If you’re in Georgia, I encourage you to read this great article in the Intercept about the issues at stake in this election and a bit more of the local politics at play.
How to help
“Big” elections like for president and the Senate usually draw a lot of attention, but as Democratic activists, if we can really dig into some of these state-level positions that really affect people’s daily lives, we can make a lot of more immediate progress on issues we care about.
You can share Blackman’s campaign website or his donate page on your social media accounts. You likely know people who care about climate change and clean energy, so be sure to talk up those points when you’re spreading the word about this race.
Do you like writing postcards? Postcards to Voters has an active campaign right now focused on getting out the vote for all three of the Georgia elections in January, including Blackman’s!
Additionally, you can follow his Twitter account and amplify his messages there.
Also, consider sharing this short video in which Blackman explains why he’s running and why this race is so important. (If the video doesn’t autoplay for you, click THIS LINK.)
Thank you for spreading the word about this important race!