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COLUMBIA, S.C.South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has named state Sen. Scott Richardson as the new director of the Department of Insurance, pending confirmation by the state Senate.
Mr. Richardson, 55, of Hilton Head, S.C., succeeds Eleanor Kitzman, who resigned, a department spokeswoman said.
Ms. Kitzman's Tuesday resignation signals the governor's desire for a new direction in handling the state's coastal insurance problems, which include enormous premium increases and policy cancellations, a governor's spokesman said.
Gov. Sanford said in a statement Wednesday that Mr. Richardson is "uniquely qualified" to be insurance director.
The insurance and real estate consultant with Sea Pines Real Estate in Hilton Head has ties to the Legislature, where he served as a senator since 2000. Mr. Richardson also served in the South Carolina House from 1993-1996.
Ms. Kitzman, who was appointed to the post two years ago, will remain at the department for an interim period during the transition, the governor's spokesman said. Mr. Richardson is expected to give up his senate seat upon confirmation.
In his statement, Gov. Sanford praised "the good things" Ms. Kitzman did during her tenure, especially in connection with the captive industry.