I am honored to be seeking the office of Insurance Commissioner because I believe, of any industry, insurance is the one that affects all of us and therefore North Dakota needs a strong consumer advocate in this leadership role. It has been informative and invigorating to travel 30,000 miles around the state these last 10 months meeting directly with consumers, agents and companies, listening to their perspectives, their needs and their insights. It reinforces for me how critically important it is for North Dakota’s next Insurance Commissioner to have a deep understanding of the responsibilities and opportunities this office holds.
As consumers, we purchase so many different kinds of insurance to protect us. It is abundantly clear that insurance plays a significant role in our lives. Insurance is about peace of mind regarding the future of your families. Insurance does much more than protect you from catastrophe and provide financial stability; it provides protection and stability to our economy, which gives us the [mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]While each of my opponents has made headlines recently with issues not even remotely relating to the work of the office, I have been working to earn the confidence and trust of North Dakota voters.[/mks_pullquote]ability to innovate and to expand into areas we would never dream. North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner needs to play a vital role in helping to provide that stability.
At the fundamental level, North Dakota needs its Insurance Commissioner to protect consumers through vigorous defense of their rights and pocketbook, foster a marketplace with fair and consistent regulation, and be accessible to consumers and agents to make sure regulations make sense. It is this commonsense approach that I will bring to the North Dakota Insurance Commissioner’s Office. North Dakotans need a watchdog, and I am ready to step up in that role.
Providers and agents in our state are the other important factor in the insurance industry. It is important that both groups know North Dakota’s rules will be consistently enforced, and bad actors weeded out and held accountable. But they also need to know that North Dakota is a state founded in opportunity. Yet, we do not look at business as something that should be taxed and regulated to death. Rather, we look at it as the lifeblood to our economy and future success. When the market does well, competition increases, and consumers have more and options and often lower prices.
Over the course of my career, I have worked to positively promote business principles that advance our marketplace and make meaningful improvements in our economy. I look forward to bringing this experience to the Insurance Department because I see several opportunities where it can make a difference. Within the office, I will foster a customer service mindset to improve service to taxpayers. That is a critical responsibility of government and too often overlooked.
While each of my opponents has made headlines recently with issues not even remotely relating to the work of the office, I have been working to earn the confidence and trust of North Dakota voters. I am proud to be the candidate focusing on the real issues facing consumers. I am proud to be the candidate with answers to these issues that make sense and are achievable. If elected, I will work hard for all citizens of North Dakota to be the fair, consistent and accessible Insurance Commissioner you deserve.