McPherson withdraws from PCS race
State Senator Joe McPherson announced his withdrawal from the race for the Louisiana Public Service Commission representing much of Acadiana and central Louisiana on Monday.
McPherson, D-Woodworth, expressed that as the turnout for the May 2 runoff between he and opponent, Clyde Holloway of Forest Hill that, “It would have taken a Herculeean effort on my part.”
He added that Holloway’s voters have, over the years, been willing to turn out to vote for their candidate, and they would account for an overwhelming advantage when only a few ballots are cast.
This move will give Holloway the District 4, which stretches from the Mississippi River to the Sabine River, the final seat on the five-member commission that regulates Louisiana utilities.
In recent interviews, Holloway reports that “I’m on cloud nine.”
His plans include speaking with PSC Commissioner Pat Manuel of Eunice, as to when he can assume office. Holloway also plans to study the issue before the commission.
A mere 13 percent of the 552,800 registered voters cast ballots in the April 4 primary election for the office. Of this total, 32,258 or 43.5 percent of ballots were cast for Holloway. Records show that McPherson was 648 votes behind with 31,610, while former State Representative Gil Pinac, R-Crowley, acquired 13.8 or 10,280 votes.
According to Jacques Berry, spokesman with the Secretary of State’s office, the May 2 election will be cancelled in six of the 17 parishes covered by the PSC district.
McPherson’s name will appear on ballots, however, because the early voting machines have already been sealed and paper ballots already printed.
This withdrawal will become official when the paperwork, with his original signature is processed by the Secretary of State, which he mailed Monday from Rapides Parish.
While there is no set procedure, the swearing in of the PSC must take place within thirty days after the Secretary of State certifies McPherson’s withdrawal.
PSC Executive Counsel Eve Gonzalez will now take over as secretary, the top job in charge of the nearly 100 PSC employees this coming Friday.