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Thursday, 20 October 2011 15:50

MS Insurance Commissioner Post Up for Election in November, Meet the Candidates

Mississippi voters will have three candidates to choose from in the race for Mississippi Insurance Commissioner come the Nov. 8 general election: Republican incumbent Commissioner Mike Chaney, Democrat Louis Fondren, and Reform Party candidate Barbara Dale Washer, according to gulflive.com.

The position has a four-year term and $90,000 annual salary.

As the incumbent, Chaney’s campaign emphasis has been his achievements during his time in office. According to Chaney, his in-office accolades include; modernization of the department’s records system, streamlining of the agent licensing process, collection of more than $4 million in refunds and additional claims for policyholders, transfer of $99.9 million to state’s windpool to help stabilize rates, an increase of 125 new companies writing policies on the Coast, and a $1 million program that led to grants for homeowners who strengthened their homes against wind damage. Chaney describes his campaign as grassroots.

Chaney, who served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1993 to 1999, and in the Mississippi State Senate from 2000-2008, was elected as Insurance Commissioner in 2007.

Fondren, a self-employed attorney-at-law and previous public defender of Jackson County from 1977 to 1981, will focus his campaign on being a “friend to policyholders” through stopping rate increases. Part of the way he would do that, he said, is to involve a public actuary—a professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk—in insurance premium hearings.

Fondren plans to spend the few weeks before the election spreading his message both on the Coast and beyond. At press time Fondren planned to speak at the AARP in Hattiesburg during the last week of October, at the Mississippi Economic Council’s Hobnob Mississippi in Jackson on Nov. 2, and at the Tupelo Chamber on Nov. 4.

Fondren also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1972 to 1976 and was Mayor of Moss Point, MS, from 1969 to 1971.

Like Fondren, Chaney also plans to speak at the Mississippi Economic Council’s Hobnob Mississippi.

Washer, a retired teacher from Hattiesburg, will focus on achieving a balance between lowering rates and attracting new business, providing free windshield replacement for auto policyholders, and making sure that insurance companies do not breach contracts, according to the candidate.

For more information please visit www.mid.state.ms.us.

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