Senator announces campaign
Tony Smith, Mississippi Senator for District 47, came to Brookhaven on a trail announcing his candidacy for Southern District Public Service Commissioner.
Smith has served in the Mississippi Senate since 2012 as Local and Private Vice-Chair, Education, Finance, Highways and Transportation, Insurance, Public Health and Welfare, and Public Property committee member. He has a conservative voting record and said intends to continue his commitment of transparency and accountability as Commissioner.
“As a local, small business owner and lawmaker, I understand the importance of fair regulations and holding those accountable for transparent and just pricing,” Tony Smith, said. “My service as Public Service Commissioner will enable me to work with all regulated companies to ensure Mississippi residents receive the best service at the lowest possible rate. It is my commitment to encourage smart business practices and to preserve the highest environmental quality for generations to come.”
Smith said he understands the job to be a balancing act of representing the people, who he calls “rate payers” and making profit for companies.
“There are times where you have to make decisions, but it’s important to remember that policies set today go on,” He said.
Ashley Comstock, campaign manager for Smith, said he is part of the conservative coalition, and he tries to be his own person. She said he goes very in-depth on bills to identify solutions.
“I don’t mind taking a stance or asking the tough questions,” Smith said speaking of his work with helping fund the trooper school and working to increase education dollars and teacher pay.
“I want to make sure we don’t over-regulate but look for the most efficient solution,” Smith said.
Smith is a lifelong resident of Mississippi, and after attending Pearl River Community College graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. He now lives in Picayune with his wife Angie and three daughters, Lauren Steil, Alexis, Addison and two grandchildren.
“It’s a team effort,” Smith said. “I can’t do it without them.”
The Public Service Commission regulates telecommunications, electric, gas, water and sewer utilities. The agency is charged with assuring that rates and charges for services are just and reasonable, that the service rendered is reasonably adequate and that any facilities constructed or acquired are for the convenience and necessity of the public. Additionally, the agency exercises safety jurisdiction over gas pipelines and has area jurisdiction over all public utilities. In carrying out its responsibilities, the commissioner answers complaints, makes investigation and conducts both formal and informal hearings.
The Southern District includes the following 27 counties: Adams, Amite, Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Wayne and Wilkinson.
For more information about Smith and his campaign, visit www.tonysmithforms.com.