North Dakota Public Service Commission
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is a constitutional agency that maintains various degrees of statutory authority over utilities, telecommunications, railroads, grain elevators, pipeline safety, and other functions in North Dakota.
Established before North Dakota became a state, the Dakota Territory established a Board of Railroad Commissioners in 1885 to oversee railroads, sleeping car, express and telephone companies. With the state's creation in 1889, the board was known as the North Dakota Railroad Commission. In 1940, the name was changed to the Public Service Commission. The commission currently consists of three Commissioners who are elected on a statewide basis to staggered six-year terms.
Current Public Service Commissioners
All three of the current Public Service Commissioners are from the North Dakota Republican Party.
Brian Kalk was elected to the office in November 2008. He is a former Marine and college professor who specialized in logistics.
Kevin Cramer was appointed to the commission in 2003 by Governor John Hoeven, and was subsequently elected to the commission in 2004 by over 65 percent of the vote. He will face re-election in 2010. Prior to his tenure as commissioner, Cramer served under Governor Ed Schafer as the State Tourism Director from 1993 to 1997, and as the state's Economic Development Director from 1997 to 2000. Cramer twice was the Republican challenger to incumbent Earl Pomeroy for North Dakota's At-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives; in 1998, and in 1996.
Tony Clark was elected to the commission in 2000, and was re-elected in 2006. Prior to being elected Public Service Commissioner, Clark served in the cabinet of Governor Ed Schafer as Labor Commissioner, and was the Administrative Officer for the state Tax Department. He is a former state legislator, representing Fargo's District 44 in the state House of Representatives from 1994 to 1997.