State Rep. Matthew Wilson (D-Brookhaven) has announced he will run for Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner in 2022. 

The office of the commissioner licenses and regulates insurance companies, investigates reports of insurance fraud, and inspects buildings to prevent fires. Wilson represents District 80, which includes parts of Brookhaven and Sandy Springs. His bid for Insurance Commissioner would open up his seat for when the Georgia House of Representatives holds elections again in 2022. 

State Rep. Matthew Wilson.

Wilson will run against Republican acting Commissioner John King. Gov. Brian Kemp appointed King to the position in May of 2019 after the elected commissioner, Jim Beck, was indicted on federal fraud and money laundering charges. King officially announced his bid for Insurance Commissioner on April 12. 

In a press release announcing his candidacy, Wilson brought up Georgia’s recently passed election bill as part of his impetus for running. The law imposes harsher restrictions on voters and critics have called out the legislation for enabling voter suppression. Wilson called out Georgia Republicans for using the presidential election and President Joe Biden’s win as “a cover to rewrite our election laws.” 

“It’s a disgrace, and I will not sit idly by while our democracy is at stake. The 2022 ballot is our chance to organize against those who seek to silence us and to turn that energy into meaningful change for Georgians too long denied the opportunity to thrive,” he said in a press release. “Healthcare costs and inflated insurance premiums are a big part of what’s been holding us back. Georgia needs an insurance commissioner who will prioritize working families ahead of the big insurance companies and multinational corporations that have bought and paid for Republican insurance commissioners for over 25 years.” 

The Georgia Attorney General’s office is currently reviewing allegations of election law violations against Wilson, who bought pizzas and passed out slices to voters waiting in line at a polling station in 2018. Wilson has previously said he received the polling manager’s permission to do so. A spokesperson from the AG’s office said the review is still pending.

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.