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FERC chairman mulls run for Virginia governor

FERC chairman mulls run for Virginia governor
© Stefani Reynolds

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil ChatterjeeNeil ChatterjeeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats push Biden to pick Haaland as next Interior secretary | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump takes major step toward Alaska wildlife refuge drilling opposed by Biden | Grijalva backs Haaland for Interior Secretary | Obama alumni considered top picks for Biden Energy secretary MORE is considering running for governor in Virginia next year, Politico reported Monday.

A Facebook group titled “Hypothetical: Draft Neil Chatterjee for Virginia Governor 2021” was formed over the weekend, featuring a photo of Chatterjee wearing a Nats baseball cap while holding a gavel.

Chatterjee, a Republican tapped by President Trump to lead the commission in 2018, told Politico he was "just playing around" when he created the group, and plans to finish out his term, which ends in June of next year.

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“My focus from now until June 30, 2021 is on my duties at FERC,” he told Politico. “Only after my term is complete will I start to give any thought to what I do next in life.”

The state’s gubernatorial primary, however, is scheduled for June 8 next year, which would force Chatterjee to make the decision before the end of his FERC term.

Virginia has off-year elections, and with current Gov. Ralph Northam (D) unable to seek reelection, the state may see a wide field of candidates before the primary.