Tampa Bay Times
TALLAHASSEE — Ten years ago, David Altmaier was coaching track and teaching algebra to 9th graders in southern Kentucky.
Now at age 34, he is becoming the top insurance regulator in the nation’s most complicated market.
On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott and the three other members of the Florida Cabinet settled on Altmaier to be Florida’s new insurance commissioner.
Elected Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater scoffed at suggestions that Altmaier, who will make $165,000, might not have the experience to replace Kevin McCarty, who is resigning as commissioner after 13 years.
“This guy is impressive,” Atwater said after his first two choices were rejected by the Cabinet.
Atwater said Altmaier knows all lines of insurance, and has a great background in property insurance in particular, arguably the trickiest and most impactful part of the job.
Altmaier’s insurance knowledge all comes from fewer than 10 years in the profession. He graduated from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in math in December 2004. He then spent a year-and-a-half as an algebra teacher in Bowling Green, Ky., where he also was the head track and field coach.
His teaching career ended in 2006, he said, because his wife, Catherine, was offered a teaching job at Florida State University.
“So we took that opportunity and we relocated to Tallahassee,” Altmaier said.