Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon on Monday picked up a challenger to his reelection campaign later this year.
Matt Parker, who owns a car repair business in West Monroe, announced his candidacy in an emailed press release.
“The present Insurance Commissioner has received over one million dollars in campaign contributions from the insurance industry,” Parker said, “and we, the consumers, pay for it every time we pay our insurance premiums.”
Donelon, 70, had served for a quarter century as a state representative and Jefferson Parish president. He lost bids to be lieutenant governor and to go to Congress. He joined the Insurance Department in 2001 and became commissioner in 2006.
Parker has never run for office before.
He grew up in Monroe and ernt to Neville High School. He has been married 37 years to Nora Gaar Parker. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Parker was featured recently on CNN, in an expose on the practices of the insurance industry and automotive repairs.
“These kinds of practices by the insurance industry are not isolated to automotive repairs but can be found in every area that the insurance industry touches,” Parker said. “Stopping these practices is the fight I am ready to fight for the good people of Louisiana.”
The election is set for Oct. 24.
In the most recent round of campaign finance reports, Donelon said he had more than $442,000 in his campaign account, while Parker showed a balance of just under $14,000.