Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon Re-Elected

Oct 24, 2011


    James Donelon

Above: Jim Donelon has been re-elected as Louisiana Insurance Commissioner 


On October 22, 2011, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner James “Jim” Donelon was re-elected to his post as state insurance commissioner, an office he has held since 2006.

A Republican from Metairie, Louisiana, he defeated little-known Democrat Donald Hodge, who had criticized him during the campaign for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions from insurance companies.

Commissioner Donelon, a former Louisiana State Representative, said he has approached his insurance regulatory post fairly, increased competition in the state and stabilized an insurance market ravaged by four hurricanes since 2005.

Before he was elected as Insurance Commissioner, he served as Chief Deputy Commissioner and Executive Counsel for the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

He currently serves as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (“NAIC”) Vice-President for 2011.  Additionally, he serves on the NAIC Executive Committee and is chairman of its Surplus Lines Task Force.  He is also on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Blood Center for Southeast Louisiana.

Commissioner Donelon made headlines in August 2011 after he announced that, after two investators were shot to death while attempting to collect records from a suspended insurance agent, he will consider asking the 2012 Lousiana State Legislature to allow the Louisiana Insurance Department’s fraud investigators to carry guns.  In the incident, the suspended agent turned the gun on himself in the tragic murder-suicide.

A native of New Orleans, Mr. Donelon retired as the State Judge Advocate for the Louisiana Army National Guard, in which he held the rank of Colonel and received the prestigious Legion of Merit medal, among many other citations, for his contributions during his 33 years of military service.

His history of public service is lengthy.  In 1975, Commissioner Donelon was elected Jefferson Parish Council chairman.  From 1981 to 2001, he represented Jefferson Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives where he rose to the leadership positions of chairman of the Committee on Insurance and co-chairman of the Republican Legislative Delegation.

In 2001, Commissioner Donelon joined the staff of the Department of Insurance and was appointed Commissioner of Insurance in February 2006.  Later that year, he was elected to fill the unexpired term and re-elected in 2007.

Mr. Donelon and his wife Merilynn live in Jefferson Parish.  They are parents of four daughters, and grandparents of five granddaughters and one grandson.




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