GOP stronghold Chapman wins state auditor

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Shelby County remains a Republican stronghold with 37 percent of voters pulling straight Republican tickets.

Some 18,000 county Republicans pulled straight tickets; some 4,372 Democrats pulled straight Democratic tickets.

The county’s commitment to the Republican party helped to boost the statewide totals of a number of candidates including gubernatorial candidate Bob Riley, candidate for state auditor Beth Chapman of North Shelby County and candidate for lieutenant governor Bill Armistead of Columbiana.

In Shelby County, Chapman received 75 percent of the vote, or 35,905 votes. At presstime, she had edged ahead of Democratic opponent Carolyn Gibson, who received 22 percent of the county’s vote, or some 10,000 votes. Statewide at presstime, Chapman was leading Gibson, 51 to 45 percent, or by about 50,000 votes.

This was Chapman’s first run at public office.

&uot;It is an honor to have such an overwhelminghly positive vote to come out of the county in which I live and work. My victory is due in large part to the people of Shelby County, and I will always be grateful for that,&uot; she said.

Chapman has served on the executive staffs of both a governor and a lieutenant governor as well as working for local organizations such as CASA of Shelby County and running her own business, Beth Chapman & Associates LLC.

&uot;My only promise during this campaign has been honesty and integrity in government, and I am committed to work in such a way that will make the people of this state proud to have me in office,&uot; Chapman said.

&uot;My primary goal is to protect the taxpayers’ dollars. Long before I ever got into politics, I was a taxpayer, and I will always be a taxpayer. Therefore that is my concern &045; first and foremost.

Shelby County came out strong for Sen. Armistead as well.

He received 71 percent of the vote, or 35,156 votes, to Democrat Lucy Baxley’s 27 percent, or 10,211 votes.

&uot;I’m honored that the people of Shelby County have turned out in such large numbers to support my candidacy as lieutenant governor,&uot; Armistead said. &uot;I’ve enjoyed my service in the Alabama Senate representing Shelby County for the last eight years. And I’m hopeful before the night is over I will be serving as lieutenant governor and (be of) even more service to Shelby County.&uot;

At presstime, Baxley was ahead statewide with 52 to 46 percent of the vote.

Chosen as Alabama’s Senator for a second term was Jeff Sessions. At presstime, Sessions had 58 percent of the vote in Alabama with current state auditor Susan Parker receiving 41 percent of the vote.

In Shelby County, Sessions received 78 percent of the vote, or 38,602 votes; Parker received 21 percent, or 10,211 votes.

Congressman Spencer Bachus kept his seat by a landslide against Libertarian challenger J. Holden McAllister. Bachus received 90 of the vote district-wide, 91 percent in Shelby County.

Also maintaining his position was Attorney General Bill Pryor. At presstime, Pryor had received 56 percent of the statewide vote, 80 percent in Shelby County.

At presstime, the races for governor, secretary of state and state treasurer were too close to call.

Riley was leading by eight votes in what has become the nastiest gubernatorial race in Alabama’s history. Five counties had yet to be counted.

In Shelby County, Riley received 68 percent of the vote, or 33,000 votes. Incumbent Gov. Don Siegelman received 30 percent of the vote, or 14,000 votes.

Shelby Academy graduate and Republican Dave Thomas was down some 6,000 votes to Democratic candidate Nancy Worley. Thomas received 72 percent of the vote in Shelby County.

Worley received 26 percent of the Shelby County vote.

Republican Kay Ivey was up some 40,000 votes to Democratic opponent Stephen Black.

Ivey received 71 percent of the vote in Shelby County; Black received 26 percent of the county’s vote.

Democrat Ron Sparks was leading in the race for Agriculture Commissioner at presstime. Sparks had 53 percent of the statewide vote to Dr. J. Lee Alley’s 44 percent.

In Shelby County, Alley received 70 percent of the vote; Sparks received 27 percent