Gov. Scott begins interviewing candidates for state Insurance Commissioner

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Earlier we provided you with a breakdown of the 55 applicants for Insurance Commissioner. It appears the Governor’s Office isn’t wasting any time sifting through the applicants and narrowing down the pool of candidates. Per the Governor’s Administrative Schedule for today, he will be conducting interviews with three applicants today. It is unclear as to whether or not there will additional applicants interviewed.

Applicants being interviewed today are as follows:

David Altmaier: An employee of OIR since 2008 who was recently promoted to to Deputy Commissioner of Property & Casualty Insurance in 2015, Altmaier states that he is “[s]eeking the position of Insurance Commissioner that capitalizes on a decade of analytical and managerial experience in the Florida insurance market.” Altmaier is well-respected for his knowledge of property and casualty lines, but it is not apparent whether his expertise expands to other areas. There is no doubt that he possesses a wealth of institutional knowledge and is a valuable player at OIR.

Jeffrey Bragg:  Now retired, longtime federal employee Jeffrey Bragg has served in senior positions with the likes of FEMA and Zurich. From 2003-20014, he served as the Director of the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (“TRIP”). The full-time private sector experience required by statute for this position that Bragg possesses has not been within the last 10 years. It is debatable whether Bragg’s position with “TRIP” meets the second part of the statutory requirement “experience as a … senior employee … federal agency having regulatory responsibility over insurers or insurance agencies.” According to its website, “TRIP” is “a temporary federal program that provides for a transparent system of shared public and private compensation for certain insured losses resulting from a certified act of terrorism.”

Scott Kipper: Kipper may be the most interesting applicant to pop up on Gov. Scott’s schedule. Aside from a stint with the Louisiana Dept. of Insurance back in 2010, most of Kipper’s career moves don’t seem to mesh with how Scott operates. Scott Kipper served as Insurance Commissioner of Nevada before abruptly resigning last year and providing no explanation. During his tenure as Commissioner, one of his biggest achievements was the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; something that Scott has been vocally opposed to. From Nevada, Kipper went to D.C. where he now lobbies for the pharmaceutical industry. Kipper is asking $200,000 for the position.

These three candidates could not be more different than one another. But we have to say, that its disappointing that out of 55 applications this is where we are. Florida is the third largest state in the country — a state that comes with a lot of unique challenges. From facing a workers comp crisis to dealing with the inevitable next big hurricane, the Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation is a position that is critically important to the citizens of our state.

Floridians’ deserve a Commissioner that is willing to tackle these issues head on and has the knowledge to do so.

No word yet on who Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is interviewing.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.