AP

Washington insurance commissioner will not seek reelection

May 2, 2023, 5:47 AM | Updated: 7:14 am

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler...

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. (Office of the Insurance Commissioner)

(Office of the Insurance Commissioner)

Longtime Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said Monday he would not seek reelection.

Kreidler’s announcement comes about a year after Gov. Jay Inslee and bipartisan legislative leaders called for his resignation over accusations from former employees that he used racist slurs and was demeaning or rude toward staff members, The Seattle Times reported.

“Serving alongside you as Insurance Commissioner for Washington state has been, and continues to be, the greatest honor of my life,” Kreidler, 79, said in an email to the staff Monday. “I’ve always said it was the best job I’ve ever had, and I still feel that way today.”

Kreidler, a Democrat, was elected in 2000 and previously served one term in Congress.

Last year, a half-dozen potential and former employees disclosed instances from 2017 to 2022 when Kreidler was demeaning or rude, was overly focused on race, and used derogatory terms for transgender people and people of Mexican, Chinese, Italian or Spanish descent, as well as asking some employees of color for unusual favors.

Inslee had said the events demonstrated Kreidler is “unable to fulfill his leadership responsibility” and should resign.

“Commissioner Kreidler assured his employees and the public he would work to improve his relationship with staff, but instead he terminated an employee who spoke out about these issues,” Inslee said at the time.

Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature made similar calls.

Kreidler, however, chose to remain in office.

“I take full responsibility for my past behavior and recognize the impact it has had on those around me and the people I serve,” he said last year. “I have pledged to do better and stand by that commitment.”

The insurance commissioner is the top state regulator of Washington’s insurance industry, which includes approving rates and advocating for consumers and policyholders.

As commissioner, Kreidler advocated for the federal Affordable Care Act and reproductive health care. He also founded a national climate change working group among insurance officials. In Washington, he has pushed to make sure insurance companies cover medically necessary gender-affirming treatments and has worked to safeguard consumers against surprise health care bills.

 

AP

Photo: Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, right, points toward Republican presidential candidate former Presi...

Jill Colvin, Julie Carr Smyth, Steve Peoples and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate

Donald Trump named Sen. JD Vance of Ohio as his running mate, choosing a onetime critic who became a loyal ally.

4 hours ago

trump assassination...

Ayanna Alexander, The Associated Press

What to know about Trump assassination attempt and the investigation into the shooting

Authorities want to know how a shooter was able to get on top of a roof so close to where former President Donald Trump was speaking and open fire.

9 hours ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret...

Julie Carr Smyth, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Michael Balsamo, Eric Tucker and Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump called for unity and resilience after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign.

22 hours ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday,...

Will Weissert and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

In primetime address, Biden says country must not go down road of political violence

President Joe Biden says “we can’t, we must not go down” the road of political violence in America after the attempted Trump assassination.

23 hours ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference following the NATO Summit in Washington, Thu...

Zeke Miller, Seung Min Kim, Lisa Mascaro and Colleen Long, The Associated Press

Biden says during news conference he’s going to ‘complete the job’ despite calls to bow out

Biden used his highly anticipated news conference to deliver a defense of his policies and batted away questions about his ability to serve.

4 days ago

Photo: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to reporters as he leaves the federal courthouse i...

Associated Press

Judge says Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy case likely to be dismissed. But his debts aren’t going away

A judge said he was leaning toward throwing out Rudy Giuliani's bankruptcy case. A dismissal would end his pursuit of bankruptcy protection.

5 days ago

Washington insurance commissioner will not seek reelection