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Insurance watchdog Burgess knows position well

Florida's first-ever insurance consumer advocate is headed back to the post he inaugurated nearly 25 years ago. For the third time, Steve Burgess, 65, will become Florida's insurance watchdog, state CFO Jeff Atwater said Tuesday. "[Steve] is a proven advocate for Florida consumers and I am confident he will represent the best interests of Florida families," Atwater in a release. Burgess initially was appointed in 1990 by then-Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher. He served until 1997, when he resigned after opposing a measure strongly supported by then-Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson. Burgess came back to the job, which is designed to be independent of the insurance commissioner, in 2004 when Gallagher, then CFO, appointed him again. Most recently, Burgess served as staff director for the state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. His new stint in his old job became public Tuesday when Senate Banking Chairman David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs) praised him for his committee work and wished him well in the advocate position, which he begins November 18. Burgess replaces Robin Westcott, who resigned in September.