By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, April 12, voters in Alabama’s First District elected Jackie Zeigler (R) over incumbent Matt Brown (R) in the Republican Primary runoff. Brown called to concede the race to Zeigler.
South Alabama voters chose the much more experienced Jackie Zeigler over Matthew Brown who was recently appointed to the post by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R).
Zeigler said in a speech, “I don’t even know how to begin to thank y’all. Everything you have done You have worked above and beyond and put your faith and trust in me and I promise I will not let you down. You may not always agree with me, but I promise that I will not ever not stand up for what is not morally ethically and Christian philosophically. I just won’t do it.”
As of press time, Zeigler had 10,156 votes (62.2 percent) to Brown’s 6,159 (37.8 percent).
While Brown had enormous financial support from the Business Council of Alabama (BCA); a shadowy PAC best known for promoting Common Core; the Alabama Federation for Children; and the Alabama Farmer’s Federation; Zeigler had a number of prominent endorsements.
Nationally recognized columnist Quin Hillyer wrote, “In a runoff primary election in southern Alabama for state Board of Education, longtime school principal Jackie Zeigler is so manifestly and unambiguously the best choice that it would be embarrassing for voters to choose her opponent.”
Jackie Zeigler has criticized the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (which are closely aligned with the unpopular Common Core Standards. The Republican State school board candidate was also sharply critical of the PREP Act, which is a tenure reform bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston). Zeigler, who is a retired principal and teacher, said in a statement, “I urge legislators to do like Nancy Reagan and ‘just say no’.” “I do not believe that Montgomery politicians should be developing plans for teacher evaluations. That job should be done by your State school board – with input from all stakeholders – teachers, principals, and families of students.”
Zeigler said, “The legislature is using a VAM, a Value Added Model. This approach is taken from manufacturing, and it is not appropriate. VAM assumes all products are uniform. Students are not widgets, and this approach should not be used. The PREP Act requires that a minimum of 25 percent of teacher evaluations be based on standardized test scores. This will cause more teaching to the test.” “This badly-designed method of evaluation will put teachers at the mercy of factors not within their control. What happens when a student has family problems or illness? I ask all friends of education to contact their state legislators. Ask them to just vote no on SB316, the PREP Act. I do not think the legislature can fix the bill, and I believe that the State Department of Education or the State School Board could better facilitate designing an evaluation system.”
Mrs. Zeigler is retired as long-time principal of award-winning Mary B. Austin Elementary School in Mobile. She worked for 37 years in the public school system, plus four years as adjunct professor at Springhill College, teaching curriculum. Zeigler is married to the State Auditor, Jim Zeigler.
Mrs. Zeigler will face Democrat Ronald Davis in the November General Election.
The First district includes Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh, Butler, Crenshaw and Covington Counties.