In A Flash

Louisiana insurance commissioner race decided after candidate withdraws

By: and - August 16, 2023 1:43 pm
A sign directs people to the Louisiana State Archives building for election qualifying Aug. 9, 2023, in Baton Rouge.

One of two candidates for Louisiana Insurance Commissioner will drop out of the race, WDSU reports, which would give the remaining candidate a victory before a single vote is cast (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

One of two candidates for Louisiana insurance commissioner has dropped out of the race, giving the lone remaining candidate an automatic victory.

WDSU-TV first reported Rich Weaver, a Democrat from Ascension Parish, would drop out of the race, citing a potential challenge to his candidacy. That leaves Tim Temple, a Baton Rouge Republican, as the commissioner-elect. 

Temple, a former insurance executive, will replace Jim Donelon, who has served in the role for 17 years. The position plays a key role in regulating an industry facing an acute crisis after a string of unprecedented hurricane seasons along the Gulf Coast that have made it extremely difficult for property owners to afford coverage. 

In the months leading up to qualifying, Temple loaned himself nearly $1 million for his campaign, a move likely meant to discourage others from challenging him. 

The Louisiana Secretary of State’s website indicated Wednesday that Weaver had withdrawn from the race.

In an email to WDSU, Weaver referenced a potential challenge to his residency in court.

“My opponent found that he can’t beat me on the merits, so he decided to use his money to sue me,” Waver wrote. “My campaign doesn’t have the money to defend me and run a campaign. So I am planning to remove myself from the ballot.”

The Temple campaign declined to comment Wednesday morning on a potential legal challenge to Weaver’s candidacy.

There were no campaign finance reports on file for Weaver with the state ethics board, indicating he had not raised or loaned himself any money ahead of the most recent reporting deadline in July.

Weaver did not respond to outreach from the Illuminator.


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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.

Greg LaRose
Greg LaRose

Greg LaRose has covered news for more than 30 years in Louisiana. Before coming to the Louisiana Illuminator, he was the chief investigative reporter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans. He previously led the government and politics team for The Times-Picayune |, and was editor in chief at New Orleans CityBusiness. Greg's other career stops include Tiger Rag, South Baton Rouge Journal, the Covington News Banner, Louisiana Radio Network and multiple radio stations.