March 5, 2015—Matt Parker, owner of Parker Auto Body in Monroe, La., will challenge incumbent Jim Donleon for his position as Insurance Commissioner of Louisiana in the October elections. Both men are Republicans.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Parker criticized Donelon for taking campaign contributions from the insurance industry, saying that leads to higher insurance rates. Parker went on to describe his campaign as a "crusade for the consumers of Louisiana," according to the AP.
Parker is new to politics, and has never run for any type of office before. Parker was recently included in a Anderson Cooper 360 report on CNN that highlighted issues in the collision repair industry that stem from insurer-steering. He helped spearhead a lawsuit against insurance companies in Louisiana that has become a national suit that now includes over 500 collision repair shops.
Donelon has held the position since 2006.
In the most recent round of campaign finance reports, Donelon said he had more than $442,000 in his campaign account, while Parker showed a balance of just under $14,000, according to the AP.