Kemp’s insurance appointee facing challenge from 2018 Democratic hopeful

Former commissioner Jim Beck now serving federal prison sentence
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 9:09 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - In 2018, Democrat Janice Laws Robinson came within about 130,000 votes of becoming Georgia’s insurance and fire commissioner. She would also have become the first Democrat elected to a statewide office since Michael Thurmond’s three terms as labor commissioner ended in 2011.

Instead, she lost to Republican Jim Beck, who is now serving a seven-year federal prison sentence after being convicted of stealing more than $2.5 million from the Georgia Underwriting Association from 2012 to 2019.

After Beck resigned, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Gen. John King, who has never held elective office and is now running his first campaign. Robinson is again challenging for the seat.

King, a former Atlanta police officer and chief of police for Doraville, is Georgia’s first Hispanic statewide official in history. He also served as a major general in the U.S. Army National Guard.

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If elected, Robinson would become Georgia’s first African American female to hold the position. She received more than 1.8 million votes in 2018.

Robinson and King are set to debate each other on Monday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m. at Georgia Public Broadcasting.