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  • Lara Declares Victory in California Insurance Commissioner Race

    November 27, 2018 by Thomas Harman

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Democrat Ricardo Lara has declared victory in the race for California insurance commissioner over independent candidate Steve Poizner, a former Republican insurance commissioner.

    In an email, Lara said he wanted to be certain all votes were counted before making an announcement.

    On the morning of Nov. 9, Lara held a 1.6% lead after all election precincts reported, according to the California Secretary of State website. About 4.4 million unprocessed ballots remained to be counted at that time (Best’s News Service, Nov. 7, 2018). But as of Nov. 24, the Secretary of State’s office showed Lara with 52.7% of the vote, a 4.8% margin.

    “Helping communities recover from wildfires while preparing for the threat of climate change will be my first job as insurance commissioner,” Lara’s email said. “As communities are rocked by devastating wildfires, Californians need a healthy, honest insurance market that allows them to quickly rebuild their lives and protects against future disasters.”

    The Camp Fire in Northern California and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California are among 15 wildfires that broke out in early November. Risk modeling and analytics firm RMS is estimating insured losses for the Camp and Woolsey wildfires at between $9 billion and $13 billion, with $7.5 billion to $10 billion caused by the Camp Fire (Best’s News Service, Nov. 19, 2018).

    Poizner and Lara differed dramatically on the issue of whether California should adopt a single-payer health care system. Lara campaigned in favor of the idea and had sponsored single-payer legislation that passed the Senate, but failed in the House during 2017.

    Poizner said single-payer would require a $200 billion-plus tax increase and would require permission from the federal government to end Medicare and MediCal in California, according to his campaign website.

    (By Thomas Harman, Washington Bureau manager, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com)

    BN-NJ-11-26-2018 1359 ET #

    Originally Posted at A.M. Best on November 26, 2018 by Thomas Harman.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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