Sen. Dean Cameron named next Idaho Department of Insurance director

Gov. Butch Otter announced Sen. Dean Cameron’s appointment Friday.

Chief Deputy Director Tom Donovan has headed the Department of Insurance since the end of 2014, when the former director, Bill Deal, retired.

Serving in the Senate since 1991, Cameron represents District 27’s Cassia and Minidoka counties. The Republican legislative committee for that district will nominate candidates to be his successor, with Otter making the final appointment.

Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill told The Associated Press he won’t finalize who will replace Cameron on the state’s budget-setting committee until closer to the 2016 legislative session.

In his new role, Cameron will be subject to Senate confirmation in 2016.

Cameron, co-chairman of the Legislature’s budget-setting committee, is an insurance salesman, selling life and disability insurance, group benefits and pensions and securities investments. Among his legislative roles, he also co-chairs a health care task force and was a player in the 2013 effort that created Idaho’s health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

“I appreciate the governor’s confidence and I’m looking forward to the new challenge,” Cameron said in a news release. “I also want to say how much I have appreciated the support of the people in District 27 and the opportunity to serve them in the Senate, as well as my time as co-chair of the budget committee” with Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome.

“While the loss to the Legislature in experienced and skilled leadership will be significant, the Department of Insurance and the individuals and businesses it serves will benefit,” Otter said. “I know the next person in line will step up admirably in the Senate, just as I know that Dean will do a great job leading the Department of Insurance as Bill Deal did before him. I also want to publicly thank Tom Donovan for his exceptional work since Bill’s retirement and throughout his career.”