As we noted last week in our QuickStudy 2018 Statewide Elections: A Mixed Bag for Insurers?, elections for Governor of Florida and Georgia and Georgia Insurance Commissioner were too close to call. The outcomes of these races were important to insurers, reinsurers, consumers, policyholders and others involved in the insurance business in these states. The following is an update as of November 19, 2018.
Andrew Gillum (Democrat) conceded to Ron DeSantis (Republican) in the Governor’s race. As a result, DeSantis will succeed Rick Scott as Governor. Scott in turn won his very tight election with incumbent Ben Nelson (Democrat) for U.S. Senate. The race for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture was won by Nikki Fried (Democrat). The Agriculture Commission is one of four members of the Florida Financial Services Commission. That Commission appoints the Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation. Republican-elected officials hold three of four seats on the Financial Services Commission and Republicans control the state legislature. As a result, regulation of insurance in Florida remains under Republican control.
Stacey Adams (Democrat) announced that she would not pursue further efforts to contest the election of Brian Kemp (Republican) as Governor. Official vote tallies indicated that Kemp had in excess of 50% of votes cast, thereby avoiding a run-off.
Similarly, the race for Georgia Insurance Commissioner was very close. Based on official results, Jim Beck (Republican) received a majority of votes cast, also avoiding a run-off.
As in Florida, following the midterm elections Republicans retain control of insurance regulation in Georgia.