Who’s in the race for insurance commissioner and who is thinking about it?

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon(Source: WAFB)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 8:52 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Even before longtime Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon uttered that he will not seek re-election in the fall, there was at least one person ready to challenge him for the job.

Back in October, Tim Temple of Baton Rouge announced his candidacy for insurance commissioner. Temple ran unsuccessfully against Donelon in 2019.

And now that it is clear that Donelon’s name will not be on the ballot this fall, the question becomes who will join Temple in the race.

Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins, Ph.D., weighed in on what is now a wide-open race for insurance commissioner.

“I expect a lot of people to be interested in running for insurance commissioner, members of the state legislature, public officials from local parishes as well as people that work in the insurance industry, insurance executives,” said Collins.

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta is pondering whether to enter the race.

Skrmetta issued the following statement to FOX 8.

“I have enjoyed regulatory oversight to protect consumers from higher bills. I know that my experience can be applied well to holding insurers accountable. I will consider my options as the fall elections near, and the duties of Commissioner of Insurance and other options do interest me.”

Rep. Edmond Jordan, who represents East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, is vice chair of the La. House Insurance Committee and also involved in the National Council of Insurance Legislators.

Jordan says he has been urged to consider becoming a candidate.

By phone, he told FOX 8, “My main focus is on returning to my House seat but I will certainly explore it.”

Donelon is retiring as Louisiana faces an insurance crisis. With about nine months left in his term, he is working to get more insurers to write wind and hail coverage in Louisiana in the aftermath of catastrophic hurricanes.

“The challenge that the citizens have is that because we’ve been hit with so many hurricanes over the past few years rates have gone up to cover the claims that the citizens have made and as a result rates have become unaffordable for many of our citizens,” said Collins.

The insurance landscape is important to the economy as well.

“So many things depend on having a healthy insurance industry down here. Not only so that people can stay in their homes, but businesses won’t stay unless they can find insurance, jobs won’t stay unless those businesses can get insurance,” said Collins.

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