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U.S. Supreme Court denies...

U.S. Supreme Court denies Gunasekara’s appeal, officially ending her candidacy for PSC

By: Frank Corder - June 9, 2023

Mandy Gunasekara, a Republican candidate on the primary ballot for the Northern District Public Service Commissioner post, answers questions regarding a residency challenge in Hinds County Circuit Court, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis - Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

With Gunasekara now out of the race, Tanner Newman or State Rep. Chris Brown will be the next Northern District Public Service Commissioner.

Mandy Gunasekara’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court aimed at reinstating her as a Republican candidate for Northern District Public Service Commissioner has been denied. She made the announcement in a social media video message Friday morning.

“Unfortunately, I just heard that the Court denied this request, in effect rendering this the end of my campaign for this position,” Gunasekara said.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s website states:

Application (22A1027) for stay and recall of the mandate and an injunction pending appeal presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.

Last week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito requested that Matthew Barton, the initial challenger of Gunasekara’s residency, file a response to the Court by noon on Monday, June 5th. That response, found here, was timely filed. His attorney, B. Sean Akins, urged the Court to deny the appeal and application for stay.

READ MORE: Gunasekara files appeal with U.S. Supreme Court seeking to remain on the ballot

Barton is a candidate for District Attorney in DeSoto County. He first brought the challenge before the Mississippi Republican State Executive Committee where it was dismissed. Barton then filed an appeal, prompting court action in Hinds County. Gunasekara then appealed the ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court which upheld the ruling in Hinds County that deemed her ineligible based on a five-year residency requirement.

Gunasekara told followers on her social media video message that this was “a bump along the way,” saying that this is not the end of the road for her as she plans to stay involved in expanding the conservative movement in Mississippi.

With Gunasekara now officially out of the race after exhausting every legal option, the two Republican candidates currently remaining in the Northern PSC race are Tanner Newman and State Rep. Chris Brown.

No Democrat filed to run for the seat being vacated by Brandon Presley who decided to run for Governor in 2023. Presley has served on the Public Service Commission for four terms.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: