By JIM TURNER THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, April 21, 2016………. Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet on Tuesday will interview four applicants hoping to be the state’s next insurance commissioner. But an impasse remains between Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who must jointly agree on the next hire to replace outgoing Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. Atwater on Thursday added Belinda Miller, the chief of staff at the Office of Insurance Regulation, and Raymond “Ray” Blacklidge, who was general counsel for American Traditions Insurance Company in Pinellas Park, to the interview list. Delray Beach Republican state Rep. Bill Hager and Jeffrey Bragg, a Palm Harbor resident and former executive director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, will also return for interviews. Atwater, who on Wednesday said he didn’t want to “drag out” the process, also included Hager on a list, released Thursday, of applicants he wants interviewed. Hager and Bragg were advanced to the interview stage earlier Wednesday during a Cabinet aides meeting. Attorney General Pam Bondi initially put Hager forward for an interview. At the March 29 Cabinet meeting, Atwater recommended Hager for the job, at a salary of $190,000 a year. But Scott — who is firmly behind Bragg — refused to consider the proposal. Late Wednesday, the governor’s office called Bragg the “best candidate” for the job. “Gov. Scott continues to believe that Jeffrey Bragg is the best candidate for the position and looks forward to further discussion on this by the Florida Cabinet,” Scott’s spokeswoman Lauren Schenone said in an email. “His 40 years of experience in the public and private sector, including at the Federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, make him an ideal candidate to serve Floridians.” The statement was issued hours after Scott met with Hager, a former appointed commissioner of insurance in Iowa. Hager described the brief meeting as “very congenial.” Early Wednesday, the governor’s Cabinet aide, Kristin Olson, told other Cabinet aides that Scott would like to “interview Mr. Bragg again and have him considered.” Since Scott and Atwater first failed to agree on a single recommendation, which would then require the approval of Bondi or Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for the appointment to be filled, the number of applicants for the post has grown from 55 to 71. Blacklidge was one of five applicants Atwater interviewed this week. Atwater had interviewed Miller, a Democrat who has a long history in the insurance regulatory office, on March 22, but she did not make the list of finalists for interviews at the time. Atwater called Miller “very talented” on Wednesday. “I’ve worked with Belinda for years,” Atwater said. “She’s outstanding at what she does.” Because of the impasse, McCarty, who’s served in the post since 2003, agreed Wednesday to extend his departure from May 2 until June.