Aides to Florida Cabinet members who will pick the state’s next insurance commissioner discussed on Wednesday pushing a final decision past a March 29 meeting, though a faster choice has not necessarily been ruled out.
The Florida Chief Financial Officer’s office expects to firm up by noon Thursday a short list of candidates it might wish to see interviewed publicly in front of the Cabinet. CFO Jeff Atwater’s staff explored the “comfort level” of other Cabinet members in not casting an immediate vote.
The Cabinet convenes March 29 and is next scheduled to meet April 26. Outgoing insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty has announced his last day is May 2.
Atwater of North Palm Beach, a pivotal vote for the job, is interviewing seven candidates today including state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, as The Palm Beach Post reported.
Gov. Rick Scott interviewed Hager on Tuesday. This week Scott talked to two other candidates Atwater has or will have interviewed: Florida deputy insurance commissioner David Altmaier and Jeffrey Bragg, who served from 2003 to 2014 as executive director of the U.S. Dept. of Treasury’s terrorism risk insurance program. No interviews related to the job were on Scott’s schedule Wednesday.
The interview overlap matters because the governor and CFO must be on the prevailing side of a vote for a new insurance chief in the four-member cabinet. State officials will select from among 55 candidates who have applied.