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Government & Politics

Montana Lawmaker Announces 2022 Run For Utility Regulator

Rep. Derek Skees (R) HD-11.
Montana Legislature
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Rep. Derek Skees (R) HD-11.

A Montana Republican legislator who carried bills this session advocating for nuclear energy plans to run for the body that regulates electric utilities in the state.

Rep. Derek Skees of Kalispell, who’s term limited in the state House, announced in a Facebook post Thursday that he intends to run for Montana Public Service Commission District 5, in northwest Montana, next year. Candidate filing for the 2022 election is not yet open with the Montana secretary of state.

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Derek Skees/Facebook
A banner that Republican state Rep. Derek Skees of Kalispell posted on Facebook Apr. 29, 2021 along with his announcement that he intends to run for the Montana Public Service Commission District 5.

The hardline conservative ran and lost against current District 5 Commissioner Brad Johnson in 2014. Johnson is term limited on the PSC and told YPR this week he’s considering a run for Montana’s new congressional seat in 2022.

Skees was the chair of the House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations committee this session.

He’s come out strongly in support of continued power generation in Colstrip and encouraging the development of nuclear power in Montana.

Skees did not immediately respond to YPR’s request for an interview.