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Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 2:55am

Primary Features Ballot Questions, PSC Races

Challengers in the Republican primary are attempting to unseat two incumbents on Georgia's Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.

Republican Pam Davidson, an energy consultant, is attempting to unseat Stan Wise, who has served on the commission since 1995. The primary election Tuesday will effectively decide the race since no Democratic candidate has qualified for November's general election.

Meanwhile, Matt Reid is challenging incumbent Chuck Eaton in the GOP primary. The winner will face Democratic candidate Stephen Oppenheimer in November. Oppenheimer is running unopposed in the primary.

The commission decides issues worth millions and even billions of dollars to the gas, electric and telephone utilities.

Also, Georgia voters will consider several nonbinding questions on Tuesday’s primary ballot, including whether they want to place a cap on lobbyist spending.

The outcome won't change state law, but it gives politicians a rough measure of the public's views.

Both the Republican and Democratic ballots ask whether Georgians want to cap or limit lobbyist spending. Similar measures failed this year in the General Assembly, but proponents say a strong showing on the ballot might change minds at the Capitol.

House Speaker David Ralston has said that a lobbyist spending cap will just drive the practice underground.

Other GOP ballot questions ask whether voters want to tighten abortion restrictions, expand gambling, and allow members of the military under 21 to carry firearms.