After watching last week’s PSC Candidate Forum at the Roxy Theater, it is clear Monica Tranel is the professional, hard-working, and independent voice that Montana needs on the Public Service Commission.

Throughout the forum, Tranel provided thoughtful, sensible answers to how she would fight for the people of Montana and laid out a clear and practical vision for enacting her ideas. She is the candidate that can help guide Montana towards a renewable, reliable, and affordable energy future.

The current PSC has become nothing but a rubber stamp for monopolies and their shareholders. It is apparent that the Commission is broken and costing hard-working Montanans money, while also preventing our state from obtaining a sustainable energy future.

The current Commission has repeatedly stalled efforts to transition to renewable energy with biased and unsound regulations and continually engaged in childish behaviors, such as spying on one another’s emails. They have completely abdicated their duty to balance the interests of ratepayers with the need to provide reliable, financially sound services.

The only way to fix this is by electing leaders with the know-how and work ethic to ensure that the PSC will stop bending over backwards for monopolies and start working for the people of Montana.

Unfortunately in the current political climate, extreme and outrageous voices have been garnering undeserved attention while engaging in what is effectively “performance politics”. Whether this “performance politics” comes from the far left or from the far right, the hard-working families of Montana are the ones who suffer when radicals take their circus to the Public Service Commission.

Now, more than ever, common sense and experience are desperately needed on a PSC that has been behaving like a reality TV show. We must elect a leader that has shown a clear dedication to the people of Montana and one with the knowledge necessary for making Montana an energy leader in today’s economy.

There isn’t a candidate in this race that can rival Monica Tranel’s dedication to the people of Montana. Tranel has spent over two decades fighting tooth and nail for consumers and renewable energy. She has brought that fight straight to the Public Service Commission, arguing against the PSC in Montana courtrooms. We need a Commissioner who knows how to fight for Montanans and our energy future.

I hope you will join me in supporting Monica Tranel for the Public Service Commission and cast your vote for her in the Democratic primary this June and then again in November’s general election.

Chase Porter Gay is an executive officer for the Montana Democratic Party and the former vice chair of the Missoula County Democrats.