Mike Chaney has best approach to solving insurance crisis

Going into this year’s election cycle, we endorsed both Chaney in the Republican Primary and Gary Anderson in the Democratic Primary. When both won, we urged them to campaign entirely on policy and not on personality, and to put forward realistic options for Mississippians to obtain affordable property insurance.

Together, we believed, Anderson and Chaney would be able to conduct a campaign focused on what should be done during the next four years to improve the private insurance market in Mississippi without being distracted by what was or wasn’t done during the last 32 years.

That has not been the case.

Having defeated the long-time incumbent, George Dale, in the Democratic Primary, Anderson has been unwilling to take his campaign to the next level. He has not engaged Chaney in a constructive dialogue that would have produced the informative campaign we had hoped for and that voters deserved.

While Chaney has focused on policy, Anderson has been unable or unwilling to move past personality, going so far as to try to portray Chaney as a clone of the defeated incumbent Dale. Even for Yellow Dog Democrats, that hound won’t hunt.

As Chaney said early in the campaign, “Katrina uncovered a problem that already existed.” After Hurricane Katrina, insurance premiums in Mississippi soared to second-highest in the nation. But under Dale’s administration of the Department of Insurance, pre-Katrina rates had already risen to fifth-highest in the nation.

No one person is going to solve all the insurance problems caused or uncovered by Katrina.

But working with Gov. Haley Barbour, who we hope and expect will be re-elected on Tuesday, and the Legislature, Chaney has the best chance to make a difference as the next commissioner of insurance.

Sun Herald Editoria