After 'great ride,' Insurance Chief Kevin McCarty says chief of staff Miller would make 'extraordinary' successor
Florida's departing insurance commissioner received high marks Tuesday as his bosses prepared to interview four candidates to succeed him. Kevin McCarty, director of the state Office of Insurance Regulation since 2003, summarized the work of his agency over the past year and received praise from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, one of his four bosses.
"What a great ride it's been ... A labor of love," McCarty said in farewell remarks. "I look forward to a smooth transition."
Atwater and Gov. Rick Scott must be part of a three-vote majority on the Cabinet to hire a successor to McCarty. Four finalists are under consideration: insurance executive Ray Blacklidge, expert insurance witness and arbitrator Bill Hager, who's also a state representative and former Iowa insurance commissioner; former federal terrorism risk insurance official Jeffrey Bragg; and Belinda Miller, the chief of staff in McCarty's office.
"I think Belinda Miller is an extraordinary candidate and would make an extraordinary commissioner," McCarty told reporters after his presentation.