State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said he’s seeking a fourth term in office.
The Democrat officially kicked off his campaign on Wednesday and began collecting campaign funds, something that by Washington law he could not do until Legislature was finished for the session earlier this week.
So far only one other candidate, Martin Reilly, a Republican, has made known an official bid for election to the office.
“What I look forward to the next four years is one: building a strong health reform system here and implementing the Affordable Care Act,” he told Insurance Journal. “Those are huge challenges for insurance commissioners across the country, and we’re no exception. I’ll be working very hard to ensure that we’re successful here in the state of Washington.”
Secondly, Kreidler said, he will continue to address insurance rates increases being experienced nationally. And he said he will “be a strong advocate for consumers and make sure consumers are well represented in their challenges with insurance companies while at the same time maintaining a vibrant and healthy insurance market in Washington.”
The former optometrist was in state legislature for 16 years, and served two years in Congress. He was elected commissioner in 2000 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008.
Kreidler, who noted that by the end of his current term he will become the nation’s longest currently serving insurance commissioner, said commissioners too often have too short of a lifespan in office to be effective.
“Me serving so long is particularly good for an insurance commissioner, who have a fairly short lifespan on average,” he said. “At the end of this term I will have 12 years, and that’s two more than any insurance commissioner in the country.”
He added that the short lifespan of insurance commissioners has been “problematic,” and “there is too much turnover” among the states’ insurance commissioners.
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