Texas Commissioner Kitzman Tells Staff Her Last Day is May 27

AUSTIN—Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has told her staff May 27 will be her final day, according to sources in Texas.

This month it had become increasingly clear the commissioner appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011 would not receive a confirmation nod from the state Senate as required by the Texas Constitution.

A nomination never made it on the agenda of the Senate Nominations Committee this session. Senators PC360 spoke to in Austin said she did not have the votes to receive confirmation.

There is no word on Kitzman’s replacement, either on a permanent or interim basis.

During an interview with PC360 on May 21 in Austin, the commissioner says she hadn’t “thought about leaving her post,” but was instead “focused on doing my job for as long as I have this job.”

Kitzman referenced the people of the small, farming community of West, Texas—site of the massive fertilizer explosion last month—to explain her philosophy.

“I spent a lot of time [in West],” she said. “Farmers maybe have a different view of the world. Life goes on. There is a still a job to do, no matter what.”

At the time of the interview, it appeared unlikely Kitzman would receive confirmation, but some time remained for an 11th-hour development.

Still, the commissioner acknowledged her uncertain job future by saying: “This is what I do, not who I am. I’ve had a job before this one and I’ll have another one after it.”

Kitzman, who was director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance before coming to Texas, has also worked in the private insurance and reinsurance industries.

Kitzman is not the only one leaving the Texas Department of Insurance. Additionally, Danny Seanz, deputy commissioner of the financial regulation division, and Audrey Seldon, deputy commissioner of the compliance division, are retiring later this year.

Senate Nominations Committee Chairman Glenn Hegar Jr., R-Katy, told PC360 in Austin that he had listened to "adamant" senators for and against Kitzman, who took over for Mike Geeslin after he left the post midterm.

Without going into specifics, Hegar says those against Kitzman are upset with the "way [Kitzman has] handled some issues." Lawmakers have previously spoken about the commissioner's tendency to approve homeowners' rate hikes without much scrutiny.

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who is on the Senate Nominations Committee, flatly told PC360. "I'm not for her."

Whomever Perry appoints as Kitzman’s successor will not face confirmation until the next legislative session. Texas lawmakers meet every other year.

Comments

Resource Center

View All »

Get $100 in leads with $0 down!

NetQuote's detailed, real-time leads have boosted sales for thousands of successful local agents across the...

The Growing Role of Excess & Surplus Lines in Today’s...

The excess and surplus market (E&S) provides coverage when standard insurance carriers cannot or will...

Increase Sales Conversion with this Complimentary White Paper

This whitepaper will share proven techniques - used by many of the industry's top producers...

D&O Policy Definitions: Don't Overlook These Critical Terms

Unlike other forms of insurance where standard policy language prevails, with D&O policies, even seemingly...

Environmental Risk: Lessons Learned from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate...

Whether it’s a chocolate factory or an industrial wastewater treatment facility, cleanup and impacts to...

More Data, Earlier: The Value of Incorporating Data and Analytics...

Incorporating more data earlier in claims lifecycles can help you reduce severity payments by 25%*...

How Many Of Your Clients Are At Risk Of Flood?

Every home is vulnerable to flooding. Learn four compelling reasons why discussing flood insurance with...

Gauging your Business Intelligence Analytics Capabilities and the Impact of...

Big Data, Data Lakes and Data Swamps, How to gauge your company's Big Data readiness....

Extending Contact Center Capabilities Across the Insurance Enterprise

Today advancements in technology are making a big impact on business and society. To yield...

Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements

In this two-part series, NBIS Risk Management team will break down the requirements to assist...

PropertyCasualty360 Daily eNews

Get P&C insurance news to stay ahead of the competition in one concise format - FREE. Sign Up Now!

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.