Three candidates are running in the Oct. 14 election for the Public Service Commission District 2 seat vacated by Scott Angelle.
The winner will serve through 2018 to fill the remaining term of Angelle, who took a job leading the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Baldone is an attorney from Houma who specializes in family, injury and criminal law. He served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2002 to 2012 and is currently the interim public service commissioner. He was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards on June 1. He is registered as a Republican, but only recently switched from being a Democrat and has considered himself affiliated with both parties.
Baldone said he believes his experience as a state representative and interim public service commissioner make him the best choice for the position.
"I think I'm by far the most qualified candidate on the ballot. I've been a committed public servant for over 17 years and my experience as an attorney and a former legislator, along with the fact that I've been doing this job for several months, makes me right for the job," Baldone said.
Baldone said he's proud that Louisiana has the lowest utility rates in the country, and he will do everything in his power to get the rates even lower and maintain the state's position.
Greene is an orthopedic surgeon from Baton Rouge and is the chief of orthopedic surgery at the Surgical Specialty Center. He was previously chief of surgery at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and a clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans.
He also served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves and earned an MBA from Yale University.
Greene said that his not being a politician along with his business expertise are what sets him apart from his competition.
"I'm a family man, a small businessman and I'm not a politician. I love our citizen democracy and I believe everyone who can should run for office and give back. I'm running against two politicians and I think I'm a well qualified for the position," Greene said.
Greene said the issues before the Public Service Commission are complex, but he enjoys tackling complex problems. He said he believes the biggest issue facing the commission right now is improving the reliability and affordability of the state's energy.
Whitney is a Houma businesswoman and was a state representative from 2012 to 2016. She was the first Republican to hold the District 53 seat and the first woman to represent Terrebonne Parish in the Legislature. She considers herself a conservative Republican and proudly touts the fact that she's the only candidate in the race who didn't vote for Edwards.
Whitney has also been endorsed by the Louisiana GOP and the Louisiana Tea Party. She is the state's Republican national committeewoman.
Whitney says her experience as a legislator and a member of the House Ways and Means committee, and her business experience in companies that were regulated by the Public Service Commission gives her the experience needed to do the job.
"As a member of the Ways and Means Committee I voted against all taxes and I fought for the taxpayers of Louisiana. So too will I fight for the ratepayers of Louisiana to make sure they have safe and reliable energy at an effective and reasonable price," Whitney said.
Whitney said she believes keeping the state's ranking as having the lowest utility rates is the most important thing for the commission to continue doing, while also making sure it remains safe and reliable.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission is a regulatory agency that tries to assure Louisiana's citizens receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced public utilities and motor carriers.
District 2 represents the parishes of East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, West Baton Rouge, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, Iberia, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, Livingston, East Feliciana and West Feliciana.
-- Staff Writer Dan Boudreaux can be reached at 857-2204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dan_boudreaux.