June 15, 2010
In last week’s race to become the Republican nominee for Governor, candidate Meg Whitman trounced California Insurance Commissioner and fellow candidate Steve Poizner by a substantial margin (64% to 27%). The contest was marked by exorbitant spending, with Whitman’s campaign spending a record high of $80 million – much of that money furnished from Whitman’s own assets -- over the course of the primary. Whitman will now go on to face Democratic candidate and former Governor, Jerry Brown – who won in a lopsided Democratic primary -- in November.
On the Republican side of the contest for the Insurance Commissioner candidacy, voters handed former Assembly Republican Mike Villines a surprise defeat by electing a practically unknown opponent, Brian Fitzgerald, by a very narrow margin (50.4% to 49.6%). Fitzgerald is a virtual unknown and currently works with the California Department of Insurance as an attorney in the Enforcement Division. As November nears, political experts, campaign strategists, and others will be scrambling to uncover more information about where he stands on issues affecting the insurance industry and consumers.
One thing is already certain, however: Fitzgerald will now face Democratic candidate Assemblyman Dave Jones, who handily defeated his Democratic opponent, Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, by a margin of 61.2% to 38.8%. At this point, Assemblyman Jones is considered the favorite for the November election. The CLTA has worked cooperatively with him on a number of bills during his tenure as Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.