Atty. Gen. endorses Beth Chapman

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Attorney Gen. Bill Pryor has endorsed Shelby County resident Beth Chapman in her race for State Auditor.

Pryor announced his endorsement of Chapman at a press conference on the steps of the Alabama Statehouse on Monday.

&uot;I know having worked with Beth, that she is a hard-working, honest public servant,&uot; Atty. Gen. Pryor told more than 50 supporters and media who gathered for the press conference.

Pryor said the State Auditor must be a &uot;watchdog.&uot;

&uot;As Attorney General, honest government is a key concern of mine,&uot; he said. &uot;I am confident Beth will fulfill that expectation.

&uot;She is a person of the highest integrity, and she will serve us well. Beth Chapman has the skills, abilities and work ethic to improve the office of state auditor and protect the taxpayer’s dollars.&uot;

Chapman, chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, defeated two opponents in the primary and will face nine-time candidate and former Democrat, Jim Zeigler of Mobile, in the June 25 runoff.

Chapman expressed her honor at having been endorsed by Pryor.

&uot;It is a great honor and a tremendous statement of confidence and support anytime someone allows you to use their name, especially the Attorney General,&uot; she said.

Chapman recalled aiding the Fob James’ administration in appointing Atty. Gen. Pryor.

&uot;One of those appointments I assisted with before I left Gov. James’ administration was a new Attorney General to fill the shoes of our beloved Jeff Sessions as he was going to serve us in Washington,&uot; Chapman said.

&uot;That Attorney General was a bright, capable and conservative young man named Bill Pryor. I am glad to have been a small part of that process in its beginning stages.&uot;

Atty. Gen. Pryor acknowledged that elected officials most often did not choose to endorse other candidates; however, he said, &uot;I was concerned as Attorney General with the actions of the other candidate.&uot;

Pryor referred to a &uot;cease and desist order&uot; from his office to Zeigler at the first of the year &uot;to stop a pyramid scheme on the citizens of Alabama.&uot;

&uot;We viewed the fund-raising scheme set up by Mr. Zeigler as a violation of the Perceptive Trade Practices Act,&uot; Pryor said.

&uot;I am endorsing the person who I think is clearly qualified.&uot;

Chapman explained she was faced with an opponent who is a &uot;nine-time candidate

has run five times as a Democrat and four times as a Republican for seven different positions.&uot;

&uot;But I say people are tired of career politicians and perpetual candidates, and they want new leadership capable of performing their jobs instead of promoting themselves.&uot;

She described the differences between herself and Zeigler.

&uot;That is simple: He is a lawyer. I am a business owner. This is my first time as candidate; it is his ninth. He has been elected once and has run five times as a Democrat, and I am a life-long Republican.

&uot;He is known for his political lawsuits and antics, and I am known for my hard work to elect outstanding, conservative Republicans like Jeff Sessions, George Wallace Jr. and Justice Lyn Stuart, to name a few.

&uot;He talks a lot, and I work a lot.&uot;

Chapman has been endorsed by numerous Republican officials in Shelby County as well as the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, The Reporter, The Birmingham News, The Decatur Daily, The Gadsden Times, The Anniston Star and former opponent for the office, Meredith Mayes.

The primary runoff is set for Tuesday, June 25, and Shelby County polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m