House District 69 candidates talk about SCANA, other issues at forum

Candidates for  SC House District 69 got together Thursday night. Empowered Young Professionals of Lexington hosted a forum, for the  candidates. The district, left vacant by the resignation of Rick Quinn who pleaded guilty to misconduct, covers part of the Town of Lexington and it runs into other parts of the county.

The forum was at the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center and featured: Joel Deason; Anne Marie Eckstrom Green; Alan Ray; Michael Weaver; and Chris Wooten. Otis Rawl, Lexington Chamber President and CEO, asked the question of the candidates.

Topics ranged from taxes and government priorities to transportation and the debacle at SCANA.
Weaver called the crisis at SCANA “the largest failure our state has had to face.” He said he has talked to upset ratepayers and SCANA employees and retirees.
Ray said the $1,000 rebates Dominion is offering as part of the deal to buy SCANA will cost utility customers $10,000 in the long run. He also said SCANA the legislature should not be brokering a deal to sell SCANA, and SCANA is not to big to let it go into bankruptcy, then restructure.
Green said the she has not decided what she thinks is the best option in dealing with SCANA. She said the outcome will be “the best of bad choices.” She also said: “We’re on the hook for that failure.” Green said the Public Service Commission is a big part of the problem, with no accountability.
Deason said a SCANA solution is hypothetical. “Too much is unknown at this time,” he said. Deason said the customers were forced to buy and SCANA had no consequences for failure. He also said let all of the facts come out.
Wooten said of a potential deal with Dominion and a $1,000-per-customer rebate: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” He said customers would be paying back much more than the $1,000. Wooten also said there are a “huge number of unknowns.”

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