North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman, a Republican, says he will resign from his elective post Sept. 1 to start a national consulting firm dealing with insurance regulatory issues and compliance.
Poolman sent North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven a resignation letter Tuesday.
“After much thought, I have decided the timing is right for me personally, and especially for my family,” Poolman says in a statement.
Jaime Selzler, executive director of the North Dakota Democratic Party, says he was surprised by the move.
“When North Dakotans re-elected Poolman in the 2004 election, they expected him to serve out his term working for the people of our state,” Selzler says in a statement.
“Assuming this is an entirely voluntary move, it would seem that [Poolman] is placing his own personal interests ahead of the job he committed to on behalf of the people of North Dakota, Selzler says. “It is practically becoming a routine with Republicans in statewide offices to resign their posts just before an election season.”
Poolman told the Bismarck Tribune, “I think people that believe I am trying to do what’s best for my family will understand,” the Tribune reports.
Several North Dakota bloggers speculated that Poolman might be preparing for a possible run against U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.