Update: Scott will meet with Hager about insurance commissioner

Gov. Rick Scott (left) and CFO Jeff Atwater (center) play key roles in selection of the state's next insurance commissioner.
Gov. Rick Scott (left) and CFO Jeff Atwater (center) play key roles in selection of the state’s next insurance commissioner.

Update 6:44 p.m.: Gov. Scott will meet with Bill Hager Wednesday at Hager’s request, a spokeswoman for Scott said.

Update 11:53 a.m.: Atwater also plans to speak today to Carla D’Andre, CEO and president of an independent insurance agency based in Miami, a spokeswoman said.

Original post: New wrinkles in the hunt for the state’s first new insurance commissioner since 2003: Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will talk to three new candidates Tuesday and Wednesday, with others possible, a spokeswoman said late Monday.

By phone Tuesday morning, Atwater is scheduled to talk to Raymond “Ray” Blacklidge, executive vice president and general counsel for American Traditions Insurance Co. in Pinellas Park; and Chlora Lindley-Myers, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.

On Wednesday afternoon, Atwater talks by phone with James Wrynn, the 71st and final  applicant by a revised April 15 deadline and managing director and vice chair of  reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter LLC.

Cabinet aides meet Wednesday and the full cabinet meets April 26. The four member Cabinet must pick the next commissioner, and the governor and CFO must be part of a majority, so their choices are especially important.

These are the first publicly disclosed interviews since the Cabinet failed to agree in late March on either of two finalists: state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach and former Iowa insurance commissioner, and former Tampa-area insurance executive and federal terrorism and flood insurance administrator Jeffrey Bragg.

Scott backed Bragg but the candidate faced questions about a story in The Palm Beach Post involving a suit, later settled,  claiming that he misled investors in a past Florida venture. North Palm Beach’s Atwater moved Hager should become commissioner in the last Cabinet meeting but Scott declined to agree, opening up applications again.


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