Florence attorney Brent Woodall (R) has announced his candidacy for the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) Place 1 seat. Woodall is challenging incumbent PSC Commissioner Jeremy Oden (R) in the Alabama Republican Primary.
“My opponent is a career politician who, throughout his time in the offices he has held, has repeatedly failed the citizens of Alabama and, just as often, proven himself to be a RINO rather than a conservative,” Woodall said in a statement. “Just last month, he told two people in Madison that the Public Service Commission doesn't do anything. Maybe he misspoke and should have said simply that HE doesn't do anything at the Public Service Commission. Or maybe, because he doesn't spend enough time at his office, he simply doesn't know that the merit system employees at the Public Service Commission do work very hard and serve this state well.”
Woodall has served as a prosecutor with both the Alabama Attorney General's office and the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama before becoming a chief-of-staff at the Public Service Commission.
“I am the conservative who can bring about the changes that are needed in the office of Public Service Commission Place 1,” Woodall said. “Because I spent several years serving the state of Alabama as the chief-of-staff for a commissioner at the Public Service Commission, I understand what those changes are and why they are needed.”
Woodall said he has learned about how valuable the Commission is to the people of the state of Alabama.
Woodall is a lifelong Republican, having served on the Morgan County Republican Executive Committee and the Elmore County Republican Executive Committee in addition to having led the Morgan County Young Republicans and serving as the State Treasurer of the Young Republican Federation of Alabama. In 2016 he served as a delegate for President Donald Trump at the National Republican Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I pledge to the people of Alabama that, when I am elected as their Public Service Commission Place 1 commissioner, I will go to work, that I will keep my office adequately staffed, and that I will never vote for a tax that is hidden from the people who [must pay] it,” Woodall said. “A lot of people don't know this, but the Public Service Commission does not receive tax money from Alabama's General Fund. It is funded by money paid by the companies it regulates for the privilege of being regulated. Far too frequently, the Public Service Commission requires those utilities to pay more than is needed. When that happens, the money is often given, not back to the people who overpaid on their utility bills, but rather to the Alabama legislature that then places it in the General Fund where it is combined with money received from taxes collected from citizens throughout our state. That money is then spent in parts of Alabama on projects which will never be enjoyed by the ratepayers from whom it was received. No conservative would ever approve such a hidden taxation scam but my opponent regularly does so. I will never vote to take from the ratepayers of the utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission their hard-earned money and convert it to uses for which it was not collected. Although my opponent has had years to stop this hidden tax scam he has failed to do so. I will do what he has been unable or unwilling to accomplish.”
Woodall had, for several months, traveled the state speaking about the Office of State Auditor as he contemplated running for that office. Over a week before the qualifying period ended, however, he was contacted about running for the Place 1 seat at the Public Service Commission.
Woodall said that from his time at the PSC he knew that a change was needed in that position and, after seeking counsel from conservative Republicans he respects, and praying about his decision, decided to offer himself as a candidate for that office.
John Hammock, Stephen McLamb, Jeremy H. Oden, and Brent Woodall are all running for PSC place 1.
The Republican primary is on May 24.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.