POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Martin named chairman of regional insurers group | News

State Sen. P.K. Martin, R-Lawrenceville, recently picked up a new responsibility outside of his legislative duties.

Martin, who works in the insurance industry, was elected as the Professional Insurance Agents Southern Alliance’s new chairman.

“I appreciate the support and confidence of my colleagues in electing me to this leadership position,” Martin said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with agents in PIA’s Southern Alliance to continue strengthening our industry to best serve our clients.”

The alliance was established in 1937 under the name, Mutual Insurance Agents of Georgia, and offers leadership to more than 120,000 insurance agents in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Martin has already been putting his experience in the insurance industry to use as the secretary of the Senate’s Insurance and Labor committee.

When he is not downtown at the Gold Dome, however, he is serving as vice president of Lawrenceville-based Hood Insurance Agency, which handles commercial, personal auto, homeowners and life insurance.

“In my 41 years of association management I have been fortunate to work with many talented men and women, each possessing unique characteristics of leadership and management skills,” PIA CEO Jerry Duke said in a statement.

“However, P.K. stands out for various reasons — community service, successful tenure in local elected government at a young age, a strong family and religious background, and a sincere desire to help other people — that will serve our three-state association well. Sen. Martin is the right leader at the right time. PIA is very fortunate.”

Isakson holding town hall meeting in Kennesaw

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., announced this past week that will meet with Georgia residents on Monday during a town hall meeting at Kennesaw State University.

The in-person meeting comes after Isakson held three telephone town hall forums earlier in the year. It will begin at 6:30 p.m., although the doors will open 30 minutes before that. The meeting will be held in the university’s Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center, which is located at 488 Prillaman Way in Kennesaw.

Isakson’s office said parking will be available at the school’s Central Parking Deck at Parliament Garden Way.

Beck announces bid for insurance commissioner post

A Carroll County businessman and former deputy state insurance and fire safety commissioner announced this past week that he will run next year for the insurance commissioner’s position.

Jim Beck is running to replace current Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, who recently announced he would not run for re-election next year. Beck, who will run as a Republican, said he wants to bring comprehensive change to Georgia’s insurance department, citing more than 30 years of experience with the insurance industry.

He pointed to insurance rate increases as one issue that needs to be tackled.

“Dramatic insurance rate increases have left many Georgia families struggling to pay premiums for even the most basic protection,” Beck said in his announcement. “Simply put, the family budget has taken an unprecedented beating. While the job of Insurance Commissioner is very technical in nature and generally there is a long learning curve, I can say with absolute confidence that I will be a ‘Day 1’ Commissioner.”

Beck is one of five candidates seeking the open insurance commissioner’s post. Other candidates include Republicans Shane Mobley and Jay Florence, the current deputy insurance commissioner, and Democrats Cynthia Zeldin and Tomeka Marie Kimbrough.

• The Women for Cagle Rally will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Buford Community Center, 2200 Buford Highway in Buford. State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, who is the Women for Cagle chairwoman will host the rally to support Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s gubernatorial bid.

• The Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta will hold their annual Salad Supper at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at Magnolia Bakery Cafe, 5175 S. Old Peachtree Road, in Norcross. U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., will be the featured speaker.

Political Notebook appears in the Wednesday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.