(WAFB) - Republican incumbent James “Jim” Donelon III, 74, defended his seat as Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance, a seat he’s held since 2006, against challenger Tim Temple in a primary election held Saturday, Oct. 12.
The race for Louisiana Insurance Commissioner was among one of this election season’s most competitive battles, with Temple pinning the state’s high auto insurance rates on Donelon.
Temple, a former insurance agent and executive, said he would entice more insurers to write policies in Louisiana by allowing them to raise auto insurance rates twice each year. Donelon will only allow insurers to raise their rates once each year.
He and Doneon often spared throughout the campaign with Temple referring to Doneleon as the “architect of the worst insurance market in America," at one point.
Donelon fought off those attacks with claims that Temple’s bold ideas for reforms would fail when put before the legislature.
Donelon secured 53% of the vote, according to complete but unofficial results from Louisiana’s Secretary of State’s Office. Temple followed with 47% of the vote.
Donelon served as Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Louisiana for more than 12 years. He was first appointed Insurance Commissioner in February 2006 when the incumbent vacated the seat.
He was first elected to public office in 1975 as Chairman of the Jefferson Parish Council. He also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives representing Jefferson Parish from 1981 to 2001 where he served as Chairman of the Committee on Insurance.
His public service career also includes 33 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard where he retired with the rank of Colonel.
The New Orleans native is married to Merilynn Donelon. Together they have four daughters and eight grandchildren.