Dear Friends and Family,
Over the past two weeks, Erica and I have been inundated with phone calls, emails, and text messages from friends and family members pledging support for a potential Suskie campaign for Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district in 2010. This broad support has caused us to realize just how blessed and fortunate we are to have so many wonderful friends and supporters. This support included a Paul Suskie for Congress Facebook page – created unbeknownst to us – which has more than 700 fans in less than 7 days. We are forever grateful in ways that words cannot describe. The only two words I know to say are THANK YOU!!!”
During this same period of time, Erica and I have sought the advice and counsel of family, friends, mentors, and our closest advisors about whether or not to make a race in 2010. The overwhelming consensus was that a congressional victory was very achievable and probable in light of our broad support in the 2nd congressional district and our strong showing in our 2006 race for Arkansas Attorney General- we had 47% of the vote in a 3-way primary and 66% of the vote in the runoff in the 2nd congressional district.
Despite the outpouring of support and after much prayer, thought, and discussion, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for the United States’ Congress in 2010.
Two factors have caused me to decide against a run. First, is a strong sense of duty to complete the important work facing the Arkansas Public Service Commission in 2010 and second, is my commitment to our family.
It was three-years ago that Governor Mike Beebe appointed me to serve as Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission. This is by far the greatest professional honor of my life for which I will always be grateful to Governor Beebe.
Shortly after the Governor’s appointment, I pledged to fight on behalf of Arkansas ratepayers to end the billion-plus dollar payments Entergy’ Arkansas customers ’ have been required to pay under Entergy’s System Agreement and its embattled transmission system. I also promised to work to make Arkansas a more energy efficient and sustainable state.
The next 6 to 10 months will be critical for the Arkansas Public Service Commission on both of these fronts. Due to my role as the President of the newly formed and federally recognized Entergy - Regional State Committee, the upcoming completion of the Commission’s work in our Sustainability Docket, and the further development of a high- voltage electric grid in the Southwest Power Pool region which will help move wind-generated power across our country, I feel a strong sense of duty to complete this work along with my fellow Commissioners both in Arkansas and across the region.
Over the past two weeks, many have advised me that the opportunity to be elected to an open Congressional seat does not arise very often and MAY never come again.
Although Erica, our children and family were prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to run a campaign in 2010 and serve if elected, my commitment to Erica and our two young children has caused me to not pursue this incredible opportunity. Although a Congressional race in 2010 is an opportunity that MAY not come again, I know that the opportunity to watch my children grow up on a daily basis over the coming years will NEVER come again.
After considering that I have been largely away from my family for 2 out of the past 5-years because of deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan and our 2006 statewide campaign, my commitment to my family compels me to forgo this race. This will allow Erica and me to dedicate the maximum amount of time possible to raising our young children together over the coming years.
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Again, Erica and I want to thank so many people for their encouragement and offer of support as we worked through this difficult decision. We are forever indebted and feel so very blessed to have so many friends.