December 4, 2020

Volume X, Number 339

Advertisement

December 03, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

December 02, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

December 01, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Election Night for Insurance Geeks: 2020 Edition

We are less than a week from a presidential election, with control of Congress in play. Meanwhile, shifts in state legislatures have the potential to change the direction of policymaking and impact the redistricting process. And, 11 gubernatorial elections are on 2020 ballots. Plenty to watch.

That said, for insurance regulatory stakeholders, the top of the ticket in some respects is those insurance commissioners independently elected statewide. Here’s a rundown on that field.

Which Commissioners Are Elected: A Recap

Commissioners in California, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Washington and the Virgin Islands are elected by the public every four years. The remaining commissioners are appointed by their governors (often subject to Senate consent), with the exception of a few states using a commission or other unique process.

Who’s Up in 2020?

Delaware

Commissioner Trinidad Navarro, (D), is running for reelection against Julia Pillsbury, (R). At the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Navarro chairs the Antifraud (D) Task Force and serves as the vice chair for the Accounting Practices and Procedures (E) Task Force. His campaign emphasizes his first-term record. Julia Pillsbury, a longtime pediatrician, has centered her campaign on improving access to and affordability of health insurance.

North Carolina

North Carolina is on political watchlists this year up and down the ticket, and the commissioner’s race is no exception. Commissioner Mike Causey, (R), is running for reelection against Wayne Goodwin, (D), whom Causey narrowly defeated in 2016 after losing to him in 2012. Causey is looking to secure a second term, while Goodwin’s bid for a Grover Cleveland would make for term three.

North Dakota

Commissioner Jon Godfread, (R), is running unopposed after his opponent was declared ineligible to run. Godfread currently chairs the NAIC’s Innovation and Technology (EX) Task Force and Artificial Intelligence (EX) Working Group. Those two workstreams are picking up steam on critical issues so consistency in leadership will be welcome.

Montana

Current Commissioner Matt Rosendale is running for the state’s at-large congressional seat, leaving open the race for his replacement. New candidates Troy Downing, (R), and State Rep. Shane Morigeau, (D), are competing in the general election. Downing currently works in real estate but has a background in insurance and securities, and Morigeau has been a state representative since 2017.

Washington

Five-term Commissioner Mike Kreidler, (D), is running for reelection against Chirayu Patel, (R). Kreidler currently chairs the NAIC’s Climate Risk and Resilience (C) Working Group and sits on several other influential committees, with a focus on health care, the environment and long-term care insurance in particular. Patel is a licensed insurance agent who has expressed a commitment to good government and to bringing changes to the health and property casualty insurance sectors.

Further Down the Road

Several elected commissioners are back up for reelection in 2022. Two years from now, we will see California, Georgia, Oklahoma and Kansas insurance commissioners on the ballot. Commissioners Ricardo Lara (California), John King (Georgia), Glen Mulready (Oklahoma) and Vicki Schmidt (Kansas) are all eligible to run in the next cycle.

Big Picture Impact

Five separate races will directly select the commissioner on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Eleven gubernatorial elections will take place, among which six governors have authority to appoint commissioners. The elections have the potential to influence the direction of insurance regulation, both from within the NAIC and through individual state activity. That makes for a more targeted election scorecard than the national picture, but a scorecard that has important implications.

© 2020 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 303
Advertisement

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS

Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Patrick D. Hughes Regulatory Attorney Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath Washington, D.C.
Partner

Pat Hughes is a strategic advisor, public policy advocate and regulatory attorney for insurance industry clients across all product lines and services. Clients turn to Pat when important regulatory, legislative and policy matters in various arenas — state and federal agencies, the NAIC, legislatures and international regulatory bodies — create challenges or opportunities for their businesses. He leverages a dynamic, multi-jurisdictional FaegreBD team that is able...

202-312-7421
Kacey E. Stotler Health Insurance Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath Washington, D.C.
Advisor

Kacey Stotler serves the insurance industry as a public policy advocate and strategic advisor. She helps clients plan and execute government advocacy strategies, understand legislative developments and manage coalitions. Kacey also works on a series of engagements designed to improve health insurance and health insurance access across commercial and government markets.

Kacey is a consulting professional within Faegre Drinker Consulting, and does not act as a lawyer for clients. Learn more about the Faegre Drinker...

202-312-7008
Advertisement
Advertisement