BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election.
The move comes as the state faces an insurance crisis with some major insurance companies withdrawing from writing policies in Louisiana, in large part due to several strong hurricanes causing billions in damage.
Donelon, who is 78 years old, said in a Zoom conference meeting Tuesday that he wants to "enjoy the remaining years of my life with my family."
He says he does not have a successor in mind and that his last nine months in office will be “action-packed.”
Donelon says he hasn't had time to raise money for a campaign and that's one of the reasons why he won't run for re-election.
The commissioner also said he wanted to remove politics from the upcoming legislative session where many significant insurance issues affecting the state will be discussed and decided.
He said after a long history of public service, it’s time for him to step down.
“I am obviously 78 years old and have spent almost 50 years serving the public of Louisiana. While very healthy and continuing to exercise, I want to enjoy the remaining years of my life with my family and hopefully some new hobbies.”
Republican Tim Temple, a wealthy insurance executive from Baton Rouge, has already announced he plans to seek the job. A handful of state lawmakers have also expressed interest in the job.
Voters will pick a new insurance commissioner in the October election.
First appointed as commissioner in 2006, Donelon has served as Commissioner of Insurance for the state of Louisiana for 17 years. He is the longest-serving insurance commissioner in the state.
He was later elected that year and since then has been re-elected to four consecutive full terms in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019. His current term was set to expire in 2023.
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