- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Former secretary of state Brad Johnson has announced his candidacy for the state Public Service Commission.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports the East Helena Republican is seeking the seat representing western Montana that is currently held by PSC Chairman Bill Gallagher. Gallagher it not seeking re-election after being diagnosed with cancer.

The five-member PSC regulates utility companies in the state.

Johnson says the job of commissioner is to “strike a careful balance between protecting the interests of Montana ratepayers and maintaining the viability of Montana’s utility providers.”

Republican Rep. Derek Skees of Whitefish and Democratic Rep. Galen Hollenbaugh of Helena are also candidates.

Johnson served as secretary of state from 2005-2008. He ran for the District 5 PSC seat four years ago, narrowly losing to Gallagher in the primary.

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