Public Utilities Commission Chair Ellen Anderson may not have enough support to survive a confirmation battle next week, a Senate Republican leader said Friday.
Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, speaking for the Senate Republican caucus on Friday, said Anderson, a former state senator from St. Paul who was active on environmental issues, "did not fare well'' in her committee confirmation meeting. A decision on whether to confirm Anderson is scheduled to come before the Senate on Monday.
"We know that Senator Anderson did not fare particularly well in committee,'' Ortman said. "She's known to be a very passionate advocate, and has a tough record to defend. It will be controversial on the floor on Monday.''
Pressed on whether Anderson can be confirmed, Ortman added, "Indicators from committee are that she did not fare well and it is likely that she will not get confirmed.''
If Anderson is not confirmed by the Senate, she will be required to leave her job. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to the position in March.
Katharine Tinucci, spokeswoman for Dayton, said of 221 votes Anderson has taken on the PUC, 204 have been unanimous, and Anderson has only been in the minority on six votes. "Based on her record, we see no reason why she should not be confirmed,'' Tinucci said.