Gunasekara announces run for Northern District Public Service Commissioner | Mississippi Politics and News

The Republican appears to be to obstacle 4-expression incumbent Democrat Brandon Presley in 2023.

Northern District Community Assistance Commissioner Brandon Presley, a Democrat, ran unopposed in 2019.  That will not be the case in 2023.

Mandy Gunasekara, a Republican, announced Monday morning that she would be managing for the Northern PSC seat, trying to find to build conservative leadership in the northern district.

“Mississippi’s history of strong conservative leadership has propelled our point out to unimaginable heights,” reported Gunasekara. “Our determination to faith, hard function, and conservative values is the source of our strength. Regretably, our way of everyday living is under continuous assault. As a mom and verified conservative fighter, I intend to work each individual working day to prioritize the demands of Mississippians, secure our way of daily life, and hold our fantastic condition likely in the right path.”

Gunasekara enters the race with unquestionable conservative bona fides along with what her campaign thinks is the expertise required to efficiently provide on the Mississippi Public Assistance Fee (PSC). She also has the capability to elevate cash, earning her candidacy right away viable compared to an recognized 4-time period incumbent.

Incumbent Commissioner Presley has not officially announced his intent to find a fifth time period on the PSC, but he has specified each individual indicator that that is in truth his system in future year’s statewide elections.

In advance of a marketing campaign fundraiser in August, Presley informed Y’all Politics that immediately after observing what has transpired in other states with Democrats in this present-day political ecosystem, he is making an attempt to get ready appropriately for his individual re-election and not seem to other probable offices.

Commissioner Brandon Presley

“As everyone in politics is familiar with, campaigns for all workplaces are now really costly and you can hardly ever consider any election for granted. Heck, down in Louisiana one particular of my friends on the PSC spent $800,000 just to be re-elected to that occupation,” Presley explained.  “As Governor Haley Barbour made use of to say, ‘There are only two techniques to run – unopposed or scared.’  I am deeply appreciative of all of individuals who are Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are supporting me be organized for 2023.”

With Gunasekara’s entry into the race, Presley’s means to attract cross-more than Republican voters and donors can take a considerable strike.

Prior to getting into the race for PSC, Gunasekara served as the Main of Employees for the U.S. Environmental Protection Company (EPA) throughout the Trump Administration immediately after shelling out time as the principal deputy assistant administrator for the EPA’s Place of work of Air and Radiation. She was the main architect of the Paris Accord withdrawal and the repeal of the Cleanse Energy Prepare.

Gunasekara is a going to fellow with the Heritage Foundation’s Centre for Electricity, Local weather, and Surroundings, an analyst with Independent Women’s Discussion board, and an environmental lawyer.  She has appeared on FoxNews and SuperTalk, and has authored op-eds in numerous media outlets, some of which has appeared in this article on Y’all Politics. She received her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi College and her J.D. from the College of Mississippi Faculty of Regulation.

As for her stated coverage focus, Gunasekara’s new campaign website released Monday early morning lists responsible and secure American strength, China-absolutely free energy, grid improvements, and making certain totally free speech from Large Tech organizations among her priorities.

Gunasekara especially usually takes difficulty with a modern motion by the PSC that current the state’s web metering principles in a 2-1 vote which saw Presley and Central District Commissioner Brent Bailey, a Republican, out vote PSC chairman and Southern District Commissioner Dane Maxwell.

“The Chinese Communist Occasion (CCP) has a stranglehold on the U.S. solar offer chain.  The PSC’s new internet metering rule will go on to subsidize CCP-managed firms at the price of Mississippi vitality buyers,” Gunasekara states. “I will work to repeal any PSC policies that enrich the CCP, while forcing Mississippians to pay out higher electrical energy charges and lessening trustworthy entry.”

Connected: Presley, Bailey approve PSC net metering principles as Maxwell maintains opposition around charge fears

Presley has been the lone Democrat most stated as a possible candidate for Governor in following year’s cycle. However, Presley has not revealed that he is chomping at the little bit to observe in Jim Hood’s footsteps from 2019, merely to lay on the change so the Mississippi Democratic Occasion can have a applicant on the ballot for larger place of work towards Republican Governor Tate Reeves.

Read Additional: Brandon Presley’s approaching fundraiser has Democrats chatting about 2023

No matter if Presley operates for re-election on the PSC or chooses to allow his celebration entice him into a gubernatorial operate, he seems to be in the run for his political lifestyle, at minimum on paper, both way.

Presley’s past wins for the Nothern District PSC seat have been over Republicans Mike Maynard in 2015 (61% to 39%), Boyce Adams in 2011 (56% to 44%), and Mabel Murphree (58% to 42%).

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