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Voters choose insurance commissioners

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

Voters may have replaced one Democratic insurance commissioner today and re-elected another.

They also voted on three open commissioner races, and they considered the idea of setting up a single-payer health care system in Colorado.

The two incumbent commissioners who were on the ballot are Wayne Goodwin of North Carolina and Mike Kreidler of Washington state.

Donald Trump was elected the president of the United States. Trump has repeatedly promised to replace the Affordable Care Act. State insurance commissioners could play a major role in shaping any health care system changes.

State insurance commissioners will also play a major role in responding to the effects of low interest rates on issuers of life insurance, annuities, long-term care insurance and other products that depend heavily on returns on investments in bonds and other fixed-income investments.

Goodwin, a Democrat who was elected North Carolina’s insurance commissioner in 2008, and re-elected in 2012, lost to Mike Causey, a Republican.

Goodwin had 46 percent of the vote, and Causey had 54 percent.

Mike Kreidler, a Democrat who’s been Washington state’s commissioner since 2000, won 60.1 percent to 39.8 percent over his Republican opponent, Richard Schrock.

Related: Voters to decide 5 insurance commissioner races

Three states had insurance commissioner races with no incumbent on the ballot.

In Delaware, Trinidad Navarro, a Democrat, defeated Jeffrey Cragg, a Republican, by a margin of 59 percent to 41 percent.

Navarro is a county sheriff who spent a few years as a life and health insurance agent before he went into law enforcement.

Navarro beat Karen Weldin Stewart, the current commissioner, in the Democratic primary in September. He argued that Weldin Stewart had spent too much time out of the state and was going too easy on insurance companies.

He did better in Delaware than Hillary Clinton, who beat Trump in the state by a margin of 53 percent to 42 percent.

In Montana, Monica Lindeen, the current commissioner, gave up her post because of a state law that limited how many terms she could serve. The Democrat ran for secretary of state. At press time, with 536 of 686 precincts reporting full vote counts, she was losing to the Republican, Corey Stapleton, 40 percent to 56 percent.

Jesse Laslovich, one of Lindeen’s aides, squared off against Matt Rosendale, a Republican. At press time, Rosendale had a 54 percent to 45 percent lead over Laslovich.

In North Dakota, the insurance commissioner post was available because Adam Hamm, decided not to seek another term.

Jon Godfread, a Republican who has been working at the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, defeated Democrat Ruth Buffalo, 64.4 percent to 26.8 percent.

Nick Bata, a Libertarian, had 8.6 percent of the votes.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, voters voted on proposed Amendment 69, a ballot measure that calls for Colorado to set up a government-run health care system for all residents. With votes in 51 of 64 counties counted, the single-payer health care measure was losing by a margin of 20.4 percent to 79.7 percent.


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