GOP lawmaker Gaines to challenge insurance commissioner in Nov. |

GOP lawmaker Gaines to challenge insurance commissioner in Nov.

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The general election contest for state insurance commissioner will look much like the primary contest, with Democratic incumbent Dave Jones facing Republican state Sen. Ted Gaines.

Jones received 53 percent of the votes Tuesday in early returns, while Gaines had 41 percent.

Jones, a former member of the state Assembly, had a huge financial advantage after raising $1.6 million as of mid-May. Gaines, from the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, raised about $100,000.

On the secretary of state's official candidates list, Gaines listed himself as an independent insurance agent rather than current state lawmaker, a nod to the public's generally low opinion of the Legislature.

The insurance commissioner is responsible for licensing, regulating and examining insurance companies. Jones wants the power to veto insurance companies' rate hikes.

Gaines' sprawling 1st Senate District takes in South Lake Tahoe. If Gaines defeats Jones in November, a special election would be held early next year to fill his vacant state Senate seat.

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