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West Monroe businessman announces election challenge to Louisiana insurance commissioner

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has picked up a challenger to his re-election efforts.

Political newcomer Matt Parker, a businessman from West Monroe, officially announced his candidacy Monday for the Oct. 24 election.

Both men are Republicans.

In a statement, Parker criticized Donelon for taking campaign contributions from the insurance industry, saying that leads to higher insurance rates. Parker described his campaign as a "crusade for the consumers of Louisiana."

Donelon is a former state lawmaker from Jefferson Parish who's been insurance commissioner since 2006. Parker has never run for office before. He owns a car repair business.

In the most recent round of campaign finance reports, Donelon said he had more than $442,000 in his campaign account, while Parker showed a balance of just under $14,000.

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