Chapman announces secretary of state run

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Shelby County resident Beth Chapman has announced her bid for Alabama secretary of state in 2006.

&uot;I’m very excited,&uot; she said. &uot;I’ve received great encouragement from family and friends as well as support from people of both parties.&uot;

Chapman formally announced her intention to seek the office of secretary of state Monday on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.

The Republican currently serves as state auditor, the office that handles property management for Alabama.

Chapman was joined at the announcement by friends and relatives from Shelby County including her husband, James; her two sons, Taylor and Thatcher; and her current chief of staff, Barbara Parker of Alabaster.

She told those gathered for her announcement of the success she had managing the office of auditor with 25 percent less funds than her predecessors while increasing the number of perfect audits of state agencies to 98 percent.

&uot;I am pleased with what we’ve accomplished. Accountability has not been just a buzz word in my office,&uot; Chapman said. &uot;It’s been a reality.&uot;

As secretary of state, Chapman promises more of the same.

&uot;From the moment I came to Montgomery, my only campaign promise was to serve with honesty and integrity. That is what I’ve done,&uot; she told those gathered for the announcement.

&uot;If you serve with honesty and integrity, then all the hard work, common sense leadership skills and proven experience are just the icing on the cake.&uot;

Chapman said she decided to run for secretary of state because of her passion for honest elections and a democracy free from corruption.

&uot;Voting is a sacred freedom and honest Alabamians deserve honest elections,&uot; she said.

&uot;I will be more than an advocate for honest elections; I will be a warrior for honest elections.&uot;

First and foremost in achieving honest elections is to learn from those who work in the area of elections.

To that end, she said, one of the first things she plans to do is set up a meeting with registrars and probate judges across the state to determine the positives and negatives about Alabama’s election process.

&uot;I will urge the Legislature to do everything within its power to create and implement laws increasing the legal consequences for those who commit any and every form of voter fraud,&uot; Chapman said.

&uot;The need for photo voter ID will also be brought to the forefront. The sacred freedom of voting must be protected and preserved.&uot;

Before being elected as Alabama’s state auditor in 2002, Chapman served as a cabinet member for former Gov. Fob James and press secretary for Lt. Gov. Steve Windom.

She also owns her own business, Beth Chapman & Associates LLC, and serves as executive director of Shelby County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates among other nonprofit work.

In 2003, Chapman gave a patriotic speech at a Stand Up for America rally in Pelham that quickly became a worldwide success reaching 18 countries and all 50 states, foreign battlefields, aircraft carriers, the Pentagon and more.

She later wrote a book, &uot;The Power of Patriotism – The Speech Heard Around the World,&uot; about that speech and the extraordinary reaction to it.

Her second book, a devotional about Alabama native and gospel music legend Vestal Goodman, was published earlier this year