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The Louisiana Secretary of State’s website indicated Wednesday that Weaver had withdrawn from the race.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