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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet try again to choose new insurance commissioner



Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet today are trying for a second time to choose a new insurance commissioner.

Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater must agree on the same candidate, and both have different favorites.

Scott has remained committed to Jeffrey Bragg of Palm Harbor, calling him "the best candidate" to succeed the current commissioner, Kevin McCarty. Bragg, 67, is a former federal official who ran a terrorism risk insurance program in the Department of the Treasury.

Atwater's top choice has been state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach. Last week, Atwater added two more possible compromise candidates to be vetted: Raymond Blacklidge, an insurance executive and lawyer from Madeira Beach, and Belinda Miller, McCarty's chief of staff.

The Cabinet is expected to consider the four candidates and give a job review for McCarty this afternoon. McCarty's resignation was due to take effect May 2, but the commissioner has since offered to remain on the job until 45 days after Scott and the Cabinet pick his successor.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the tenure of Belinda Miller as the insurance commissioner's chief of staff.


[Last modified: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 10:03am]


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