Jim Poolman has resigned as vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.[@@]
Poolman says he will continue to be North Dakota insurance commissioner and will seek re-election on the Republican ticket in November.
Ernst Csiszar, the NAIC’s former president, resigned from his posts as NAIC president and South Carolina insurance director in mid-August. Csiszar plans to take over as president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Oct. 4.
Poolman says Csiszar’s resignation forced him to decide quickly if he wanted the top spot.
Poolman, the father of a 6-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 20-month-old, says he traveled 170 days last year and now wants to spend more time with his family. Poolman says one of his children reinforced his decision to resign as NAIC vice president by asking him, “Dad, can you tell the commissioners that you want to stay home?”
Poolman says he will remain active at the NAIC.
He adds that he decided to step down right away, so that the NAIC can elect a new team at its upcoming fall meeting in Alaska.
The NAIC plans to elect new officers Sept. 12.
Joel Ario, secretary-treasurer of the NAIC and Oregon insurance administrator, continues to hold the third-highest NAIC leadership post. He could step into the post of president, but any commissioner whose state is part of the NAIC would be eligible to run for any NAIC leadership posts.
Ario says he probably will seek the spot of vice president rather than president in 2005 because of his department’s ambitious 2005 legislative agenda. Ario would prefer to become president in 2006.
Filling the posts also will depend on whether the posts will last for 3 months, until elections can be held in December, or if they are 15-month posts, Ario says.
Whatever the leadership lineup happens to be, there is a “deep bench at the NAIC” and a “solid leadership team” will be put in place, Ario says.
Ario reports that several commissioners have volunteered to run, but he is not giving their names.
Texas Commissioner Jose Montemayor, who has been highly visible on the national scene, says through a spokesman that he is not actively running for office but is willing to help the NAIC avoid a leadership vacuum in any way he can.
Mike Kreidler, the Washington state commissioner, says he will not run, and Jorge Gomez, the Wisconsin commissioner, says he will not run at this time.
Morrison says he was interested in the secretary-treasurer position last spring but now is focusing on re-election.
“Everything is up in the air,” Morrison says.
Morrison reports that he is hearing a variety of opinions about what to do about the NAIC officer positions.
Some in the NAIC want to elect interim officers at the fall meeting, some want to elect all officers on a permanent basis, and some want to elect a permanent president but elect the other officers on an interim basis, Morrison says.
“With the resignations of Ernie Csiszar and the Poolman announcement, everything has been turned upside down in a sense,” says Montana Insurance Commissioner John Morrison. “I have no idea how this is going to play out.