You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Georgia insurance commissioner won’t run for re-election in 2018


State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, a two-term incumbent and former state lawmaker, has decided against running for another term in 2018.

Hudgens served in the state House and Senate from the Athens area, rising to chairman of Senate Insurance Committee, before running in 2010 to replace longtime commissioner John Oxendine, who ran unsuccessfully for governor.

Hudgens has been criticized by some over the past few years as insurance rates rose. Last year he issued a consumer alert when Allstate filed for an average 25 percent auto insurance rate hike, but the commissioner wound up saying there was little he could do about it taking effect.

Like past commissioners, he was also criticized for being close to the industry he regulated, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industry.

“I ran for insurance commissioner because I believed I could be an effective advocate for consumers,” Hudgens said. “My office has helped consumers get payments after insurance companies originally denied claims and has aggressively pursued insurance fraud. I focused on those consumer protections while also working to make sure we had a competitive marketplace.”

Hudgens’ agency was most recently in the news when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the department overspent its budget and had to lay off staffers and furlough employees.

Besides regulating the insurance industry, the commissioner serves as the state fire marshal and regulates the small loan industry.

Deputy Commissioner of Insurance Jay Florence and fellow Republican, health care provider Shane Mobley, along with Tomeka Kimbrough, an insurance agent and Democrat, have already filed fundraising paperwork to run for the job. Jim Beck, a longtime aide in the insurance commissioner’s office who has also served as president of the Georgia Christian Coalition, is expected to run as well.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Georgia Politics

Feds’ decision to kill sex-ed grants stirs worries in South Georgia
Feds’ decision to kill sex-ed grants stirs worries in South Georgia

Angelina Jackson of Edison, Ga., population 1,451, likes the classroom work she does for Quest for Change. She is proud of the “scenario” she and her fellow teenagers set up at Calhoun County High School placing classmates in the role of a girl who had unprotected sex and doesn’t know whether she’s pregnant. They set up desks...
Speaker appoints health committee on access to care
Speaker appoints health committee on access to care

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston has appointed a committee to examine access to health care. They include high-ranking members of the House and well-known medical professionals with public experience on issues that have plagued Georgians. The citizen members are all medical professionals: Dr. Yolanda Graham, a child psychiatrist specializing...
Opinion roundup: What are they saying from the Left and from the Right today 
Opinion roundup: What are they saying from the Left and from the Right today 

Should O.J. Simpson have been granted parole? Is President Donald Trump investigating the investigators hired by special counsel Robert Mueller? Is it time for Universal health care? Here's a look at columns about those and other topics in Friday’s opinions from the Right and from the Left. “In our tumultuous political climate, at least...
Your Friday political briefing: Trump vs. Mueller; Perdue nervous over workflow; health care vote
Your Friday political briefing: Trump vs. Mueller; Perdue nervous over workflow; health care vote

Here is what is trending in politics around Georgia and across the nation on Friday. Attorneys for President Donald Trump are looking at potential conflicts of interest among the members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team, according to reports. The Associated Press reported that three people who have knowledge of the matter...
Latest health bill estimates: up to 1 million fewer Georgians covered
Latest health bill estimates: up to 1 million fewer Georgians covered

Senate GOP leaders have made change after change to their health care legislation to try to persuade Republican senators to vote for it. But that has not changed the flow of estimates showing that while the government would save money, large numbers of Americans — including more than a half-million Georgians — would lose health insurance...
More Stories