The elections held Tuesday included votes on 5 open insurance commissioner seats, 11 gubernatorial seats, and races involving many state lawmakers who sit on state legislature insurance and financial services committees.
Democrats appear to have won at least 4 of the 5 commissioner seats, but Republicans have won at least 4 of the open seats involving state, commonwealth and territory governors who have the right to appoint insurance commissioners.
We are still digesting results for state lawmakers, but 3 state legislators who hold top positions at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Troy, N.Y., kept their seats.
Democrat Karen Weldin beat Republican John Brady with 57.5% of the total vote.
- North Carolina
Wayne Goodwin, D, edged out John Odom, R, with 51.5% of the vote. Odom received 44.6% of the vote, and Libertarian Mark McMains received 3.8% of the vote.
Goodwin will succeed Jim Long, the longest-serving insurance commissioner in the United States. Long, who announced that he would not run for re-election has held the North Carolina commissioner post for 23 years and 6 terms.
- North Dakota
In this squeaker, Adam Hamm, R, the incumbent, now has 150,710 votes, or 50.3% of the votes cast, and Jasper Schneider, D, has 148,929 votes, or 49.7% of the votes cast.
North Dakota election officials note that Schneider has the right to ask for a recount.
Duane Grimes, R, and Monica Lindeen, D, were vying to succeed John Morrison, the current state auditor, who is leaving office because of term limits.
Montana newspapers are reporting that Lindeen is leading with 53% of the vote, with 87% of voting precincts reporting.
Incumbent Mike Kreidler, D, won handily, with 61% of the vote. He defeated John Adams, R.
Governors’ seats were up for grabs in Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
In Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia, the governor appoints the insurance commissioner:
The territory of American Samoa and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico also are holding gubernatorial elections, and the governors in those jurisdictions appoint the insurance commissioners.
Here is a look at races involving governors who can appoint commissioners:
Gov. Mitch Daniels, R, the incumbent, received 62% of the vote. Jill Thompson, D, received 36% of the total.
Jay Nixon, D, won with 58% of the vote, defeating Kenny Hulshof, R, who received 39% of vote. The spot opened when Gov. Matt Blunt, R, announced he would not seek a second term.
- New Hampshire
Gov. John Lynch; D, the incumbent, trounced opponent Joe Kenney, R, with 70% of the vote.
Gov. Jon Huntsman, R, the incumbent, bested Bob Springmeyer, Democrat, with 78% of the vote.
Gov. Jim Douglas, R, the incumbent, beat Gaye Symington, D, with 54% of the vote.
- West Virginia
Gov. Joe Manchin, D, the incumbent, beat Russ Weeks, R, with 70% of the vote.
- American Samoa
Gov. Togiola Tulafono, D, the incumbent, has faced challenges from Afoa Moega Lutu, Utu Abe Malae and Tuika Tuika Jr. The candidates other than Tulafono are running on a nonpartisan basis.
At press time, election results for American Samoa were not yet available.
- Puerto Rico
Anibal Acevedo Vila, D, the incumbent, lost to Luis Fortuno, R. Fortuno received 54% of the vote.
Voters in Arizona and North Dakota voted on ballot measures of interest to the insurance industry.
In Arizona, Proposition 101, a measure that would amend the Arizona constitution to prohibit any law from restricting residents’ right to choose private health care plans, pay directly for lawful medical services, or obtain or decline any health care system or plan, appears to be losing 865,079-867,203, with 49.9% of the vote.
In North Dakota, the Workforce Safety and Insurance Agency Initiative, also known as Measure 4, has received 67% of the vote. Measure 4 will change the management structure of the WSI agency that administers workers comp, by returning oversight directly to the governor and creating an independent panel of judges to conduct hearings and make decisions.
All but 6 states held state legislative elections Tuesday, according to Jeffrey Brewer, a spokesman for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill.
The states that did not have legislative elections Tuesday are Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, Brewer says.
About 75% of the states’ 7,382 legislative seats were in play.
Democrats and Republicans have been splitting control of the state legislatures in half of the states, while Democrats have dominated both chambers in 14 states, and Republicans have dominated both chambers in 10 states, Brewer says.
Many state legislators who are on insurance committees and hold leadership roles in NCOIL were up for reelection.
NCOIL’s current president, state Rep Brian Kennedy, D-Hopkinton, R.I., won 67% of the vote in a race against Nancy Richmond, R.
In New York, state Sen. James Seward, R-Otsego, N.Y., the NCOIL president-elect, was leading Don Barber, D, with 64% of the vote.
Kentucky state Rep. Robert Damron, D-Frankfort, Ky., the NCOIL vice president, received 57% of the vote in his state, turning back a challenge from Chris Moore, R.
Here is a look at races involving some other active NCOIL participants:
- Florida Senate, 31st District–Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D, won 100% of the vote over write-in candidate Ellyn Drotzer. The incumbent, state Sen. Steven Geller, D, left the seat after 20 years in office.
- Georgia Senate, 47th District, Sen. Ralph Hudgens, R, won with 65% of the vote against Tim Riley, D. Riley was seeking to become the first openly gay state senator and the only openly gay man in the state legislature.
- Kansas Senate, 33rd District–Sen. Ruth Teichman ran unopposed.
- Kentucky House, 14th District–Rep. Tommy Thompson, D, ran unopposed.
- Kentucky House, 31st District–Rep. Steven Riggs, D, ran unopposed.
- Kentucky House, 33rd District–Rep. Ron Crimm, R, the incumbent, won 63% of the vote in a race against Greg Galbraith, D.
- Kentucky House, 79th District–Rep. Susan Westrom, D, ran unopposed.
- Michigan House, 88th District–Rep. Bob Genetski, R, defeated Tom Clark, D, with 62% of the vote. The seat was vacated by Fulton Sheen because of term limits.
- New York Assembly, 34th District–Assemblyman Michael Den Dekker is running unopposed. The incumbent, Ivan Lafayette, resigned to become deputy superintendent for community affairs with the state insurance department.
- New York Assembly, 132nd District–Assemblyman Joe Morelle, Independent, ran unopposed.
- New York, Various–At press time, the New York Board of Elections had not posted results for contested state legislature races to the Web.
Some contested New York races with implications for the insurance industry include Sen. Neil Breslin, D-46th District, vs. Charlie Voelker, Conservative; Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun, R, vs. Richard Randazzo, D, who also is running on the Working Families Party ticket; and Sen. Bill Larkin, R, who also is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independent tickets, vs. Lawrence Delarose, D.
- Pennsylvania House, 53rd District–Rep. Robert Godshall, R, defeated Jack Hansen, D, with 60% of the vote.
- Texas House, District 23–Preliminary results indicate Rep. Craig Eiland, D, the incumbent, has received 86% of the vote in a race against Charles Earley, Liberal.
- Texas House, District 24–Rep. Larry Taylor, R, the incumbent, won with 86% of the vote against Rafael Ramos, Independent.