As expected, former DNR secretary Scott Angelle and state Rep. Erich Ponti will enter the final four-week stretch before election day with significantly larger campaign war chests than the remaining three candidates vying for the District 2 seat on Louisiana's Public Service Commission, according to finance reports submitted Tuesday.
Coincidentally, Angelle, R-Breaux Bridge, and Ponti, R-Baton Rouge, are the only candidates to accept contributions from utility companies that are under the regulatory thumb of the PSC. They also are the only candidates to receive funds from political action committees.
Their acceptance of such contributions has been a bone of contention with the other three candidates — Forest Wright, Sarah Holliday and Greg Gaubert. Angelle also has received criticism from former candidate Ed Roy, of Lafayette, for his untimely resignation as head of the state Department of Natural Resources amid the unfolding sinkhole crisis in Assumption Parish.
Of the two front-runners, Angelle, as of Tuesday's filing, has the financial lead over Ponti.
Angelle reports he received $492,447.65 in contributions, and will have $512,109.57 available going into the Nov. 6 primary.
Ponti's report shows he received $85,576.19 in contributions. He will enter the final stretch before election day with $292,800.73 cash on hand.
Of the contributions received by Angelle, $26,500 came from PACs, including $10,000 from AT&T PAC, $5,000 from Acadian Ambulance Employee PAC, and another $5,000 from NORPAC LLC, to cite a few.
Ponti's PAC contributions totaled $6,500, $3,500 of which came from FuturePAC LLC.
For all the finance reports submitted by candidates running for the District 2 seat on the PSC, click here.
Click here for more on the criticisms against Ponti and Angelle over their acceptance of contributions from PSC-regulated companies.