STATE FARM'S HEAD ON A PLATTER
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South Mississippi Living 4/07

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Insurance commission nominee drops in DeSoto




Democrat Gary Anderson especially wants to help hard-hit Gulf Coast

By Yolanda Jones
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gary Anderson is no stranger to the insurance world.

During three years as the state's chief financial officer in the administration of former governor Ronnie Musgrove, Anderson's office oversaw the health insurance for state employees, as well as the tort claims division.

"We covered the gambit, from property and casualty insurance to health insurance for over 200,000 employees," Anderson, the Democratic nominee for insurance commissioner in the Nov. 6 general election, said during a swing through DeSoto County Monday.

"So I have the experience in the world of insurance, and that is why I am in this race -- to make sure all citizens get a fair deal in insurance."

Anderson, 51, a native of Byhalia, faces Republican nominee State Sen. Mike Chaney of Vicksburg. Gary Anderson
During a DeSoto stop earlier this month, Chaney said he was best qualified for the job because of 15 years in the Mississippi Legislature and a couple of decades in private business.

Beside qualifications, Anderson said Monday he'll be independent in making decisions.

"One thing that separates me from my opponent is that I have made a pledge to not accept a single dime from the insurance companies or their executives for my campaign," Anderson said. "These are the people I will regulate if elected, and I'm independent. I can represent the ratepayers and not the insurance companies."

The state's insurance commissioner regulates property and casualty insurance. The commissioner helps set fire insurance rates, oversees the state fire academy and deals with building codes and other issues.

Anderson said he wants to make sure residents understand their insurance policies.

"I want the policies in plain English so everyone understands exactly what they are purchasing," he said.

Anderson said he wants to help all residents, but especially those on the Gulf Coast hit hard during Hurricane Katrina.

"I want to settle those claims for residents on the Gulf Coast, so they can restore their lives and move forward," Anderson said.

He said during the Aug. 7 primary, in which he edged out incumbent George Dale, he had tremendous support from Gulf Coast residents.

"I unseated a 32-year veteran as insurance commissioner," he said.

Anderson, a consultant, is head of his own business, Anderson LLC based in Jackson. After campaigning in DeSoto County Monday, he headed to Tupelo.

"I want residents from the northern part of the state where I grew up and citizens throughout the state to know that I am out to get affordable insurance for all residents," he said.

-- Yolanda Jones: (662) 996-1474


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