Insurance Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens will not seek a third term as Georgia’s Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner in 2018. It is the latest in a series of key statewide offices to open next year; others include lieutenant governor as Casey Cagle runs for governor as is Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
“After much thought, prayer, and discussion with my family, I have decided not to seek a third term as Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity that the people of this State have given me to serve in this capacity, but I look forward to retiring from elected office to spend more time with my wife Suzanne, my four kids, and 12 grandchildren.
“I ran for Insurance Commissioner because I believed I could be an effective advocate for consumers. My office has helped consumers get payment after insurance companies originally denied claims and has aggressively pursued insurance fraud. I focused on those consumer protections while also working to make sure we had a competitive insurance marketplace. The Department has accomplished a lot, but there is still much to do. I look forward to actively serving out the year and a half that remains in my term. I will continue to work to protect Georgia consumers and make sure that Georgia remains a competitive place to do the business of insurance.
“While I am retiring from elected political office, I intend to stay involved in politics. My political activity began when I accompanied my wife to meetings with conservative activists in 1980. I quickly developed a passion for politics and a belief that the right people running for office could make a difference for our country and our state. I still have that passion, and I still have that belief. Suzanne and I will continue to stay involved in politics and will continue to work for the people and the causes in which we believe.
“I enjoyed my time in the State House and State Senate, but I am particularly grateful for the privilege of serving as Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner. I am grateful to my best partner for the last 54 years, Suzanne, who stood by me and worked with me through successful elections and failed ones. I am grateful for the excellent staff at the Department of Insurance that has enabled me to be successful over the last seven years. I am grateful for my supporters around the State who helped me get elected and re-elected to this office. Most of all, I am grateful to my God who has given me so many blessings- the greatest of which have nothing to do with politics.
“Sincerely, Ralph Hudgens”
Ralph Hudgens was elected as Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner in 2010 and re-elected to a second term in November 2014. In addition to being Insurance Commissioner, Hudgens is also the Safety Fire Commissioner and Industrial Loan Commissioner. His duties include regulating approximately 1,600 insurance companies, licensing 137,000 insurance agents, and regulating over 1,000 industrial loan offices. As Safety Fire Commissioner, Hudgens appoints the State Fire Marshal, oversees the state arson unit, regulates explosive and hazardous materials, and is responsible for the inspection of public buildings for compliance with the state fire code.Commissioner Hudgens is a businessman, who for nearly two decades, worked for Shell Chemical Company, a division of Shell Oil, in sales and management. Today, he owns and operates several successful businesses, and understands first-hand how insurance premiums impact companies of all sizes. Hudgens’ public service began with an appointment in the US Department of Agriculture by President Bush. He went on to be elected to the Georgia House and then the Georgia Senate, serving fourteen years until his election as Insurance Commissioner.Because of his service as Chairman of the Insurance Committee, Vice-Chairman of both the Ag Committee and Banking Committees, Hudgens is one of the state’s foremost experts on insurance, business regulation, and consumer issues. A loyal Republican, he has served as a GOP delegate at the local, state, and federal level. He is committed to the party platform of lower taxes, less government, and strong family values. He is 100 percent pro-life and a champion of various pro-family causes.Ralph and his wife, Suzanne, live in Athens, Georgia and they have four married children and twelve grandchildren. He and Suzanne are active members of Winterville First Baptist Church.