Republican state Sen. Ralph T. Hudgens will be the new Georgia insurance and fire safety commissioner. Hudgens defeated Democrat Mary Squires, garnering 54 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Squires.
Hudgens will succeed fellow republican John Oxendine as insurance commissioner. Oxendine, who has served as commissioner since 2004, decided to leave the post to run for governor but lost in the Republican primary
Libertarian Shane Bruce came in a distant third in the insurance commissioner race with 4 percent of the vote.
Hudgens, a small business owner and former House Republican member (elected in 1996), has been in the state Senate since in 2002. He has served as chairman of the Insurance and Labor Committee and vice chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.
Hudgens has said his priorities will be: consumer education, fighting insurance fraud, and opposing Obamacare and expansion of the federal government.
According to Hudgens, the commissioner has the responsibility to create a level playing field for buyers and sellers of insurance products. “A good regulator blows the whistle and keeps all the players following the rules of the game. If a consumer knows the rules and is fully informed, I trust them to make the decision that is best for their family,” he told Insurance Journal in a recent survey.
He plans on being involved in opposing President Obama’s health care plan. “I am deeply concerned about the new federal health care take over. It is obvious that the Democrats just do not fundamentally believe in the power of the marketplace and consumer choice,” he said.
Nathan Deal, Republican, defeated Roy Barnes, Democrat, and John Monds, Libertarian, in the race for governor. Republicans won all of the statewide constitutional offices including attorney general, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and labor commissioner.
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