TO THE OBSERVER
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) has qualified to run for the open seat of secretary of state. He will run in the May 24th Republican primary for the seat being left by outgoing Secretary of State John Merrill (R).
The secretary of state is the top elections administrator in Alabama. In his statement at qualification, Zeigler said:
“Over the next eight years, the job of secretary of state will be vital. We face national attempts to manipulate honest election procedures. Alabama needs a proven fighter against government overreach to be our fighting secretary of state.
“We face attempts to allow non-citizens to vote. Jim Zeigler will fight against that. Only U.S. citizens should vote in U.S. elections.”
“We face efforts to change ‘election day’ to ‘election week’ or ‘election month.’ Jim Zeigler will fight against that. We need to be vigilant against those who would vote early and often.
“We face assaults against our requirement for photo voter ID. Jim Zeigler will fight to keep and enforce our voter ID requirements.
“We face ballot harvesting; automatic voter registration on election day; drive-by drop-off ballot boxes; and voting by mail. A vote for Jim Zeigler is a vote against all these methods of manipulation.
“As your state auditor, I led the fight against waste, mismanagement and corruption. As your secretary of state, I can apply that same approach to fight the manipulation of our elections.
“As your state auditor, some people called me ‘the watchman.’ I will continue as your watchman over the election process as Secretary of state.
“Election integrity may be the most important single issue. The reason is this: If we lose our ability to elect or defeat officials, then all other issues will have lost accountability to the people. We would have government of the manipulators, by the manipulators and for the manipulators. A vote for Jim Zeigler is a vote against election by manipulation.”
Zeigler earned a degree in Public Administration from the University of Alabama where he was President of the Student Government Association. He paid his way through college as the janitor in the old Student Union Building and by playing in an oldies band. He played trumpet in the Million Dollar Band and debated on the intercollegiate debate team. He served on the University Athletic Committee with legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Zeigler’s wife Jackie is the elected State Board of Education member from the First District — eight counties of South Alabama. She successfully led the banning of Critical Race Theory in Alabama schools. She has been a consistent vote to repeal Common Core.
The Zeiglers and daughter Mary Magdalene Zeigler are active Christians in Kingswood Church in Mobile. They have two rescue dogs and a rescue cat.
“We have four candidates for Secretary of state. All four bring something to the table. My three opponents make excellent speeches and have good points. I am listening.”
“So what difference does it make which one of us you vote for? It makes a ‘yuuuuge’ difference.
“The Bible gives us a guide for making decisions on who to choose — for jobs, leadership roles, service providers and elected officials. The Bible tells us – ‘By their fruit you shall know them.’ Actions speak louder than words. What have they actually done?
“I offer my fruit produced as your state auditor:
“I investigated and filed the initial ethics complaint against Gov. Robert Bentley.
“I filed the taxpayers challenge to the $47 million unbid contract named STAARS, which ended that failed software deal.
“I led the fight against the gas tax increase and showed how ALDOT was wasting tens of millions of your tax dollars.
“I was blessed to lead the successful fight to stop the double taxation of toll roads and bridges on top of the gas tax.
“My wife and I led the 2020 fight against Amendment One, which would have taken away your right to vote for State School Board members and made them all appointed by the governor. We beat that with a 75% ‘no’ vote in the statewide referendum of the people.
“I was one leader in the successful fight that blocked the $3 billion prison rental boondoggle.
“I operated the state auditor’s office on less money now than when I was elected in 2014. We halved our staff and yet remained current on the property inventory audits and all other work. The Montgomery politicians lashed out at me and eliminated our staff offices and parking places, yet we remained current on audits.
“Do you ever wonder who audits the auditor? The answer is — the examiner of public accounts. They performed their toughest audit on my office, and the results were perfect.
Zeigler pointed out that the races for Lt. gov., state treasurer, and agricultural commissioner have no opposition on May 24 and will not even appear on the primary ballot.
The four Republican candidates for secretary of state are Rep. Wes Allen of Troy, businessman Christian Horn of Huntsville, retired secretary of state staffer Ed Packard of Prattville and Zeigler.