Insurance Candidates Highlight Differences

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

Gary Anderson and Mike Chaney say they believe they're the one to lower insurance rates and generate more economic growth in Mississippi. But there is plenty about which they disagree.

The issue of campaign contributions is at the forefront. Should an official who will regulate insurance in Mississippi be allowed to accept contributions from insurance agents and companies.

Anderson says no. Chaney says there are more important issues facing the state.

Anderson blasted Chaney for his alleged ties to "big insurance."

"A lap dog for big insurance isn't protecting your pocket books," said Anderson. "This will lead to higher insurance rates for all of us."

But Chaney isn't trying to hide the fact he has accepted money from insurance agents and companies.

"I will take money from independent agents all day and I'll take it from domestic companies," said Chaney. "I do not take money from large, big insurance companies."

Anderson said he believes by accepting those contributions Chaney is more susceptible to favoring those contributors rather than running the department of insurance independent of outside influences.

"I call on Chaney to return every dime of the insurance money that he's taken, over $70,000. I call on him to return that money and come clean," Anderson said.

Chaney says he will do no such thing.

"Will you return the money you get from insurance agents, and I said, ' When pigs fly'," Chaney said.

Are voters concerned who contributes to either campaign? Ole Miss professor, Larry Cox, says there are definitely bigger issues that need to be addressed.

"I certainly think the nitty gritty of straightening out the markets of the coast as best they can, and again attracting new competition will provide us with the most competitive rates are by far and away the most important issues," said Cox.

Finding ways to bring in more insurance companies into the state seems to be the key to lowering rates for Mississippians.

Anderson favors cracking down on waste and insurance fraud. Chaney says, to increase economic progress, the state needs available, affordable, and accountable insurance.

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