Republican Michael Chaney defeated Democrat Gary Anderson Tuesday to win election as Mississippi insurance commissioner.

The Mississippi secretary of state will not have the official results for 10 days, but unofficial tallies show Chaney carrying about 57% of the vote.

Chaney will succeed George Dale, who served as Mississippi commissioner for 32 years.

Dale lost in August to Anderson in the Democratic primary.

Much of the campaigning for the Mississippi commissioner’s post focused on concerns about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Chaney listed “Rebuild the Gulf Coast” as a key item on his campaign agenda.

“Sky-high insurance premiums are a road block to economic recovery,” Chaney says. “If you can’t insure it, you can’t finance it. If you can’t finance it, you can’t build it. It’s that simple.”

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Steve Beshear, the Democratic candidate for governor, appears to have defeated the Republican incumbent, Ernest Fletcher, with about 59% of the vote.

In Kentucky, the governor appoints the insurance commissioner.

The current Kentucky commissioner, Julie McPeak, is chair of the Life Insurance and Annuities Committee at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.

Washington state voters passed Referendum Measure 67, which addresses payment of insurance claims.

The referendum, which received 57% of the votes cast, bans unfair and deceptive acts by insurers in connection with failures to pay claims.

The referendum also gives the insurance commissioner the power to promulgate a regulation that defines additional methods of competition and conduct “reasonably found by the commissioner to be unfair or deceptive.”