Harp to seek insurance commissioner's post

State Sen. Seth Harp, a Columbus Republican, confirmed that he will run for insurance commissioner next year.

As first reported on Ledger-Enquirer.com, Harp, 66, told the newspaper Thursday night he will launch his statewide campaign with the immediate formation of an exploratory committee.

“I want to make sure the people of Georgia are protected from unscrupulous companies and I want to make sure the good companies are also protected,” Harp said.

Harp, a family practice attorney, has been rumored to be seeking the Republican nomination for insurance commissioner for almost two months. Last week, Harp briefly flirted with the idea of running for attorney general.

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and Attorney General Thurbert Baker both have announced intentions to run for governor.

“I had a lot of people approach me and ask me to consider attorney general,” Harp said.

The General Assembly session concluded a week ago, and Harp has spent the last few days talking to his wife, Linda, and his supporters.

To run a successful campaign and win the primary in the summer of 2010 and the general election that November, Harp estimates it will take more than $1 million. He has about $15,000 in his senate campaign account.

“I will use that in what ever legal manner I can,” Harp said. “I know that there are some restrictions, and I plan to talk to an attorney for the state Republican Party. Whatever it takes, I will do it right.”

Harp plans to finish out his term in the Senate, which expires at the end of 2010. That means he will represent District 29, which includes parts of Muscogee and Troup counties as well as all of Harris and Meriwether counties, next year in the General Assembly.

He was elected to the Senate in 2000 and has been re-elected four times, facing opposition in every election.

A formal announcement of his plans will be coming in the next week or so, Harp said.