Voters Guide: State senator, former health care services manager vying for insurance commissioner
photo by: Contributed Photos
The office of insurance commissioner opened up this year when incumbent Republican Ken Selzer decided to run for governor. He finished fourth in a crowded GOP primary.
The office is generally in charge of regulating the insurance industry in Kansas, which includes licensing insurance agents and overseeing compliance with state laws and regulations that govern the insurance business.
The candidates this year are state Sen. Vicki Schmidt, a Topeka Republican, and Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin, of Wyandotte County.
The race has been low-key this year, but the contest centers on which candidate is best qualified to manage the agency that regulates the insurance industry.
Schmidt, 63, is a pharmacist by profession. In the Legislature, she currently chairs the Public Health and Welfare Committee and the Senate Ways and Means subcommittees on health and social services, and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations.
She touts her experience as a pharmacist, as well as her work in the Legislature dealing with insurance-related issues, particularly health insurance, as her primary qualifications.
McLaughlin, 64, is a former regional manager for Sodexo health care services, a company that provides support services for hospitals throughout the country. Born and raised in North Carolina, he also has served as president of the Kansas City, Kan., and state branches of the NAACP.
He touts his business experience working in the health care industry and his knowledge about the high cost of health care as his qualifications.
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