I can’t help but feel Matt McGovern-Rowen and his liberal friends were not given a very good option in choosing which PUC candidate to challenge in this election cycle. Chris Nelson and the four-year term (remainder of Dusty Johnson’s) or Kristi Fiegen and the six-year term aren’t easy choices. In Chris Nelson, they have the difficult task of running against a popular two-term former Secretary of State with high name recognition who won his first election in 2002 with 56% of the vote and in 2006 went unopposed.
In Kristie Fiegen, they have the choice of going against someone who has served four terms in the legislature but is a relatively new face in the PUC. Fiegen will make up that ground rapidly as she is very high energy and likable. I believe she will also be a gifted fundraiser, and it wouldn’t surprised me at all if she easily surpassed the amount Nelson raised for his congressional run.
By election time, Nelson will have almost two years of experience as a public utitlities commissioner and thanks to former commissioner Steve Kolbek, Fiegen has been on since last summer, giving Fiegen vastly more experience in the energy industry than her hyper partisan name changing opponent from Wisconsin who advocated for the devastating Cap and Trade energy policy for the Obama agenda.
No word yet whether the Democrats have decided to let Nelson go unopposed again like they did in 2006 or muster up a sacrificial candidate.
I am very confident Fiegen will be a strong candidate in the general because she is an extremely hard worker.
And considering that energy issues vastly favor Republican ideas going into the election year, it will be a steep climb for any Democrat on the statewide ballot this year.