The dynamics in the race for commissioner of insurance haven't changed much since 2012, when Democrat
Causey still isn't. He's a former Greensboro insurance agent who's making his fifth attempt for the job. He thinks the Bureau, which sets the rates that insurance companies can charge in the state, limits insurance competition. More competition equals lower rates, he says. Also, as in 2012, he says that the insurance commissioner should be more responsive to consumers.
Goodwin, who was first elected commissioner in 2008, believes that eliminating the rate bureau would result in premiums going up. He has data on his side, as
Goodwin hasn't been shy in his criticism of Obamacare and his belief that it needs to do more to help insurers. We believe he has a thoughtful and thorough grasp of the health insurance landscape. He's the best candidate to help
We had a bit of a difficult time four years ago choosing between Democrat
Four years later, little has changed. Both are strong candidates for an office that maintains and protects the state's agribusiness industry and regulates food, animal health, the state fair and other areas.
Troxler, who would like to serve a fourth term, has been a strong public servant for
Like many in the education community, we heard the speculation last year that
Atkinson is a capable state superintendent who has helped lead some innovative efforts to improve struggling schools, but she has also seemed uncomfortable with the role of vocal advocate for public schools. That's a critical part of the job, given that the legislature and state board of education set most statewide policy. Perhaps, we thought, a fresh voice would be better for the office.
On the surface, that's exactly what
But Johnson's candidacy has not evolved since we endorsed him in the Republican primary this spring. As then, he says he wants less testing (specifically, state End of Grade tests) but is unable to provide specifics on how he would go about that. He wants more technology, but when pressed on exactly what that means, settles for more "professional development" with technology.
Also troubling are Johnson's frequent and misleading attacks on Atkinson, a carryover from similarly concerning behavior in the Republican primary. One example of many: He told the editorial board that Atkinson said "everything's fine" with N.C. schools in a recent blog post. She didn't. That's a troubling pattern, given the public nature of the job he seeks.
As for Atkinson, we're encouraged that in the past year, she seems to have found her voice, including putting N.C. lawmakers on the spot this year by calling for a 10 percent pay raise for teachers. Public schools and students need some loud volume on their side in
(c)2016 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)
Visit The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) at www.charlotteobserver.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.