NU Online News Service, March 19, 2:51 p.m. — Washington

Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, a Republican, is the latest person rumored to be the frontrunner to become the next president of the American Council of Life Insurers.

Keatings’ name has been mentioned frequently in recent days as a possible candidate for the ACLI position, but National Underwriter was unable to confirm the rumors.

However, the National Journal, a respected Capitol Hill magazine, yesterday published an item saying that the “buzz” around town is that Keating is the frontrunner.

ACLI continues to decline any comment on its search process.

A call to Keating’s office was not immediately returned.

According to Keating’s official biography, the 58-year-old governor is a former special agent for the FBI.

After serving in law enforcement and federal government positions during the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration, Keating was elected governor of Oklahoma in November 1994.

He was reelected in 1998. His biography does not list any specific experience in the life insurance business.

He does cite reform of Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system as one of his major accomplishments.

In addition, he has twice supported legislation, which was eventually enacted, to cut the state personal income tax rate.

Moreover, the state is now studying ways to completely overhaul the Oklahoma tax system, including a proposal to eliminate the personal income tax.

Earlier, ACLI reportedly discussed the presidency with Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., but Pomeroy’s office says he is no longer a candidate for the job.