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Wednesday, 12 October 2016 22:15

Causey Gains Industry Support for NC Insurance Commissioner

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Since announcing his campaign to run for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, collision repair industry veteran Mike Causey has spoken at a variety of venues across his state, including several industry events.

He attended the August and September meetings of the North Carolina Association of Collision and Autobody Repair (NCACAR) to speak about some of the issues he’d like to tackle if elected, but he faces a huge challenge in combatting the influence of big insurance companies. Causey stated, “It’s a classic David vs. Goliath battle, but I am getting support from the body shops that want to see change. If people pay attention to this race and go vote, I will win!”

 

Causey, a Republican, is running for NC Insurance Commissioners against Wayne Goodwin, the Democrat incumbent Insurance Commissioner of NC. According to Causey, “I ran against the same wealthy lawyer/career politician four years ago. In 2012, I won the Republican primary and had little money against his $1.3 million campaign war chest, but still got more votes than he did on election day and won 55 of the 100 NC counties; however, I lost the election in early voting numbers, being clobbered by the Obama success in the big cities. So close, but no cigar. Out of 4.3 million votes, we came up short 30 votes per precinct (2709 precincts in NC)! In many ways, this year is similar to 2012 – insurance companies backing an incumbent ‘friend’ and showering him with campaign donations, but in 2016, insurance companies have pulled out all the stops to get money to the commissioner. Also, financial giants like Genworth are hosting fundraisers for him.”

 

Causey’s claims are supported by the NC State Board of Elections, since all campaign contributions are public record and available online at ncsbe.gov. Additionally, an article was published in The Daily Haymaker in September which stated that Goodwin had received nearly one-third of the $222,580 raised for his campaign from people tied to Florida-based insurance and health care interests on just four separate days, totaling $65,550. This support from FL raises the question of why these folks from another state are so invested in the political prospects of the NC Insurance Commissioner.

 

Meanwhile, Causey’s campaign is struggling financially, but he noted, “We have a lot of volunteers, grass roots activists, little guys helping, and we are competing well in the polls. A statewide poll by Civitas Institute released in mid-September showed these results: Goodwin 37, Causey 32, Undecided 29, with a margin of error +/- four points. This is ahead of where I was in 2012. Momentum is going our way, and all kinds of people, including Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians and other concerned citizens are coming forward to help in these final days before the election.”

 

Another interesting inconsistency in Goodwin’s campaign arose on September 6, when five officials held a reception and a fundraiser in Goodwin’s honor at the Sheraton Hotel in Charlotte. Of these five individuals, three are career Republicans: Jim Donelon, LA’s Insurance Commissioner; John Doak, OK’s Insurance Commissioner; and Barry Goldwater, Jr., a former Republican U.S. Congressman. Additionally, Goldwater has major investments in the insurance industry.

 

The two Democrats showing support for Goodwin were Ben Nelson and Eric Serna. Nelson is a former U. S. Senator, Governor and Insurance Commissioner, but although he runs as a Democrat, he is very conservative and frequently voted against his party. The former Insurance Superintendent in New Mexico, Serna agreed to retire in 2006 during an investigation of accusations that he had intervened in his daughter’s auto insurance claim.

 

Causey has been a longtime advocate for the collision repair industry, and his campaign has faced challenges as he goes up against the incumbent Insurance Commissioner, who has support from the insurance industry. Causey stated, “It’s me against the powerful insurance cartel – insurance companies and corporations are financing the incumbent commissioner’s campaign to the tune of millions. As a former legislative lobbyist representing body shops and the Independent Autobody Association, the insurance companies do not want Mike Causey in that office! As a writer for body shop publications, I have stood up for the little guy, the small shop owners and all body shop owners against the unfair trade practices of the insurance industry.”

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