By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, Alabama state Auditor Jim Zeigler announced that he will seek a second term.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of Alabama as State Auditor, and I humbly ask for their vote again on June 5th,” Zeigler said. “State Government needs a watchman against wasteful spending and mismanagement. I have done my best to add that role to the State Auditor’s office. As State Auditor I will always put the people of Alabama first.”
Zeigler said that he is hoping to continue his work reforming State Government in a second term. “Montgomery is a swamp full of corruption, and I will work tirelessly to shine a light in the darkest corners of fraud and abuse. I am here to serve the taxpayer and not the political establishment. I think I have made that clear in my first term as State Auditor.”
Zeigler was a consistent critic of former Gov. Robert Bentley, mounting legal challenges to what he called, “Mismanagement and abuse by the Bentley administration.”
Zeigler filed the initial ethics complaint against Bentley that ultimately led to the Alabama Ethics Commission’s finding that Bentley had likely broken Alabama ethics and campaign finance laws. Bentley pleaded guilty to some misdemeanor campaign finance violations and resigned just five days later and resigned after the House Judiciary Committee began hearings on impeachment.
Zeigler’s feud with Bentley went all the way back to the inauguration when Bentley cancelled the traditional prayer service and Zeigler announced he would sponsor the prayer service and did so at the River City Church near the capitol.
Zeigler exposed Bentley’s diversion of $1.8 million of the BP settlement money to restore the governor’s mansion at the beach. That action came a month after Bentley lost his own personal beach home in his divorce from his wife of 50 years over Bentley’s alleged adulterous affair with a married former staffer.
Zeigler sued to invalidate the troubled STAARS software contract, claiming it was an illegal no-bid contract. The state then canceled the $47 million STAARS contract.
After Bentley resigned, Zeigler was legally required to audit Alabama’s three governor’s mansions and the governor’s office in the capitol. He located all items and produced four audits.
Zeigler said that his office is up-to-date on all audits despite suffering cuts of 28.5 percent to his budget. “Under adverse circumstances, we have continued to get things done for the taxpayers of Alabama.”
Zeigler is married to state school board member Jackie Zeigler, who challenged Bentley’s appointee to the office. The couple have two children.
Zeigler is a retired, elder law attorney, having helped Veterans and senior citizens to obtain nursing home benefits.
Zeigler faces a crowded field in his bid for re-election.
Elliot Lipinsky and Dr. Stan Cooke have already qualified in the Republican Primary for state Auditor. The winner of the Republican primary in the Auditor’s race will face Miranda Joseph in the general election. Major party qualifying does not end to February 9.
The major party primaries will be on June 5, 2018.