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The Fight for PSC Place 1. Brent Woodall looks to take down Jeremy Oden.

By Chris Peeks January 29, 202 Like a fire alarm in the night, two Public Service commissioners, Jeremy Oden and Chip Beeker, just got a wake-up call. What I wouldn't have given to be a fly on the wall when they heard the news. That's got to be a gut punch to both of them Chip Beeker, so far, is taking his opposition more in stride. People get primary challenges in politics. It happens. Jeremy Oden, however, is not too pleased. He let his wrath show this morning at the pancake breakfast in Vestavia. Oden called his opponent, Brent Woodall, a backstabber. Oden doesn't want a primary challenge, and it's easy to say why. All one has to do is look at his past PSC races. After being appointed to the Public Service commission in 2012 by Governor Robert Bentley, Oden faced a tough primary challenge from Kathy Peterson, defeating her 52% to 47% in 2014. His 2018 race almost went down in political lore when he nearly lost to a disqualified candidate. Jim Bonner, after making racist comments on social media, got censored by the Alabama Republican party, and the next day, on June 1st, the Candidate Committee voted not to certify his ballots in the June 5th primary. Four days later, Oden eked out a razor-thin victory, barely edging out Bonner by 5100 votes or a little over 1%. Can you imagine if he had lost to the racist guy? Well, at least it's not as bad as losing to the dead guy like former US Attorney General John Ashcroft did in his 2000 US Senate race in Missouri. Oden is the "Mr. 51%" of Alabama politics. When I reached out to Brent Woodall for a statement on Oden's accusations of backstabbing, Mr. Woodall quickly responded. "At the 2022 Pancakes and Politics fundraiser, my opponent did refer to me as a backstabber. I laughed it off because his comment demonstrates that he doesn't understand the difference between someone being friendly and someone being a friend He also doesn't understand the difference between doing his job and not doing his job. Two weeks ago today, my opponent told two of my friends that the Public Service Commission didn't have anything to do. That comment should offend every citizen of this state. He has something to do - his job. If he doesn't do it, I will. I ask every Republican in Alabama to vote for Brent Woodall for Public Service Commission Place 1 on May 24." The first shots have been fired in this now hotly contested fight for Place 1 of the PSC, and I would expect more to follow. Mr. Oden, by his actions today, realizes he is in danger of being defeated. He has never faced this type of opponent in his previous two battles. He is running scared. I would be too. Chris Peeks Reporter and Columnist Alabama Political Contributor

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