By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – At a reception for his Tupelo campaign office opening, Republican Public Service Commission candidate Boyce Adams said Tuesday he’ll pursue a long-term energy strategy for the state.
Adams, a Columbus small business owner, spoke to a group of supporters at his new office space on North Gloster Street.
“The system we have in place isn’t working. It isn’t attracting industries,” said Adams, 26. “I believe the Public Service Commission should be, under my leadership, a leader in energy research and energy technology” to create jobs.
Adams faces GOP competitor Marvin Cox in next week’s primary for the Northern District PSC seat. The winner will meet 34-year-old incumbent Democratic candidate Brandon Presley in the Nov. 2 general election.
When contacted by the Daily Journal, Presley disputed Adams’ claim that the current system doesn’t work or fails to support job growth.
“The best way for economic development is low utility rates,” said Presley, who is finishing his first term. “I voted against more wasteful spending and more rate hikes than anybody on the Public Service Commission since the beginning of the Public Service Commission.”
About two dozen people attended Adams’ reception, including former Northern District Public Service Commissioner Bo Robinson, a Democrat who had supported Presley in his bid for the office four years ago.
Robinson declined to comment on his appearance, but Adams referred to him as a great friend and supporter.
Presley said Robinson won’t support him because he had made staff changes upon entering office that his longtime predecessor disliked.
The Public Service Commission regulates public utilities. Adams said if elected he will continue aggressively regulating the industry but wants to expand the role into better energy policy.