Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has named Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, the new director of the state Department of Insurance, replacing former director Bill Deal, who retired at the end of 2014. Cameron, a 13th-term state senator, co-chairs the powerful Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, which writes the state budget. He also owns an insurance business in Rupert.
“While the loss to the Legislature in experienced and skilled leadership will be significant, the Department of Insurance and the individuals and businesses it serves will benefit,” Otter said in a statement. “I know the next person in line will step up admirably in the Senate, just as I know that Dean will do a great job leading the Department of Insurance as Bill Deal did before him. I also want to publicly thank Tom Donovan for his exceptional work since Bill’s retirement and throughout his career.”
Donovan, the department’s chief deputy director, has served as interim director since Deal’s retirement.
Cameron, 54, is a Burley native who holds an associate’s degree in political science from BYU-Idaho and was a Life Underwriting Training Council fellow in 1992. In addition to co-chairing the joint budget committee, he has co-chaired the legislative Health Care Task Force and served on the Senate’s commerce and resources committees.
“I appreciate the governor’s confidence and I’m looking forward to the new challenge,” Cameron said. “I also want to say how much I have appreciated the support of the people in District 27 and the opportunity to serve them in the Senate, as well as my time as co-chair of the budget committee with Representative Bell. I will be forever grateful for those experiences.” The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.