TALLAHASSEE -- Public Service Commissioner Lisa Edgar survived an unexpected confirmation fight in the Florida Senate by a 26-13 vote.
Edgar, who has was first appointed to the commission in 2005, was reappointed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2012. But many lawmakers have accussed her of being on the side of the utilities she regulates and not ratepayers. '
Senate Ethics and Elections Chair Jack Latvala, whose committee handles appointment confirmations, said she was "closely aligned" with the utility industry and was not a consumer advocate and that she had some financial troubles. He said he originally planned to submit her name for confirmation on a list with several other Scott appointees who would be jointly confirmed. But several lawmaker expressed a desire to individually debate Edgar's debate.
"I would love to see us put someone who is a little more consumer friendly on the commission," said Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth.
Added Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz: "Give her the gold watch and say your eight years are done."
Edgar had several defenders though.
Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, noted that she had been thoroughly vetted by the Senate committees and the governor's office. And Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, said it was unfair to criticize Edgar's personal financial troubles.
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