Chris Nelson was sworn in as South Dakota's newest public utilities commissioner on Jan. 8, during a formal inauguration ceremony at the State Capitol in Pierre. Nelson was appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to fill a vacancy on the commission. His appointment extends through 2012.
The vacancy on the commission filled by Nelson was created when Commissioner Dusty Johnson accepted a position as Gov. Daugaard's chief of staff and chose not to serve a second term on the commission.
Nelson previously served two terms as the secretary of state, having first been elected in 2002. Prior to becoming secretary of state, he was state election supervisor in the secretary of state's office for 13 years and was uniform commercial code supervisor in the same office for two years.
Nelson joins PUC Chairman Steve Kolbeck and Vice Chairman Gary Hanson in rounding out the three-member panel that is charged with utility regulation in the state.
A native of White Lake, Nelson earned a bachelor's degree in animal science, with highest honors, from South Dakota State University in 1987. Nelson, his wife Penny and daughter Rebekah reside in Pierre.
Visit the PUC's Website at www.puc.sd.gov for more information about the agency and its commissioners.