Baria: MS needs new Insurance Commissioner, but I’m not running

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) – State Senator David Baria of Bay St. Louis said Monday that he wants to set the record straight concerning a rumor that he’s running for higher office.

“While I believe Mississippi needs a new Insurance Commissioner, I will not be opposing him [Mike Chaney] in 2011. I’ll be running for re-election to the Mississippi Senate,” Baria said in a statement to the media. “But, how this story materialized says a whole lot about Mike Chaney.”

Insurance Commissioner Chaney was quoted in a Clarion-Ledger article saying he thought Baria was planning to run against him in 2011.

Baria explained, “Recently I was at a social function with Commissioner Chaney and Senator Billy Hewes. The two of them were joking with each other and both of them were kidding me about rumors that I would be running for Lt. Governor and for Insurance Commissioner. When I assured both of them that I would be seeking re-election to the Senate, they both expressed concern (again, in a joking fashion) because, as they said, they had used my possible candidacy as an aid in their fundraising. So, I jokingly said, “Okay Mike, if it’ll help your campaign, I will tell people that I’m running against you.” We all laughed and I didn’t think another thing about it. Turns out, I should have been more concerned.”