Kemp taps former Cobb candidate to Georgia utility regulator

FILE - In this March 16, 2021, file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference at the Georgia State Capitol, in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is naming businessman Fitz Johnson to fill a vacancy on the state Public Service Commission.

Kemp on Wednesday announced he would tap Johnson, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for the Cobb County Commission last year, to fill a vacancy on the commission created when Kemp on Tuesday named commissioner Chuck Eaton to fill a superior court vacancy in Fulton County.

The commission regulates private, for-profit utilities including Georgia Power Co. and Atlanta Gas Light Co., meaning its decisions affect the pocketbooks of millions of Georgians.

Johnson is the former owner of the Atlanta Beat women's professional soccer team and a retired Army officer. He also ran unsuccessfully for state school superintendent in 2014. Johnson has been a trustee of the Cobb-based Wellstar Health System and the Kennesaw State University Foundation and a state charter school commissioner.