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Senior Insurance Issues
Jay Bradford was appointed to a four-year term as Arkansas Insurance Commissioner on January 15, 2009, by Governor Mike Beebe. Bradford brings to the Department more than four decades of experience in the insurance industry, including thirty years as founder, chairman, and former shareholder of First Arkansas Insurance Group, a statewide network of independent property and casualty agencies. Customer service and consumer protection have been hallmarks of his career.
Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Bradford served for two years as the Director of the Division of Behavioral Health Services within the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
Commissioner Bradford served in the Arkansas Legislature for twenty-four years where he was chosen both Speaker Pro Tempore of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate. He also served as Chair of the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee in both bodies.
Some of the highlights of his service in the Arkansas Legislature include serving as chief sponsor of the Tobacco Settlement Funding Bill, legislation which resulted in Arkansas being the only state in the nation to mandate all the settlement monies be used for healthcare. He also served as lead Senate sponsor of breast care legislation which resulted in millions of dollars being made available for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
He has achieved numerous honors and awards during his service to the citizens of Arkansas, including the 2006 Arkansas Business Executive of the Year and the 2005 Libertarian of the Year from the American Civil Liberties Union. He is active in various community and political affairs. A graduate of Subiaco Academy, Commissioner Bradford holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Psychology from Henderson State College and has also been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of that institution, now known as Henderson State University. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor (C.I.C.) and holds an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.