Mitch Tyner, an attorney who represented a tea party-backed candidate in a complicated U.S. Senate race in 2014, said Friday that he has filed to run as a Republican for the central district seat on the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

Tyner, 51, of Ridgeland, said he’s running for the three-member utility regulatory board because he wants to protect ratepayers and he has concerns about the lignite-fired plant Mississippi Power Co. is building in Kemper County.

“It’s experimental technology, and we don’t know for certain if it’s going to work or not,” Tyner told The Associated Press.

Tyner said he is also concerned because the Kemper County facility marks the first time ratepayers have helped pay for a power plant before it started operating.

In 2008, then-Gov. Haley Barbour signed the Baseload Act, which allows utility companies to increase rates to pay for power plants before the plants are in operation.

Tyner ran for governor in 2003, losing to Barbour in the Republican primary.

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