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Zeigler: ‘Watchman against waste’ is needed in Washington

Brandon Moseley

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State Auditor Jim Zeigler continues to explore a campaign for the U.S. Senate saying that, “Montgomery can waste millions, but Washington can waste billions.”

Zeigler said in a statement that wasteful government spending will be the theme of his new exploratory campaign to “test the waters” for a possible run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democratic Senator Doug Jones.

Zeigler said that he is serving as a “watchman against waste in government,” and that “a watchman is needed in Washington.”

The Zeigler exploratory campaign said that he has been the most outspoken auditor in memory in Montgomery. Zeigler cites his opposition to the widening of a roadway through Eufaula’s historic district; questioning the legality of Baldwin County’s school board using tax dollars to promote a yes vote in a referendum to raise taxes; to suing to block Governor Robert Bentley’s $130 million state built hotel and conference center on the beach in a hurricane impact zone; to attempting to subpoena Gov. Bentley for flying his alleged mistress around on the state jet; to pointing out the high number of missing state firearms; to objecting to Gov. Bentley’s decision to take the Confederate Flags off of the Confederate Veterans Memorial; to reporting Bentley for spending almost $2 million of tax dollars for a new governor’s beach mansion; to shining light on the failed STARS software the state wasted millions on; and filing charges with the Alabama Ethics Commission against Bentley. Zeigler filed a complaint with the Alabama Ethics Commission that led to the Commission agreeing that crimes likely had been committed by the governor. Bentley pleaded guilty and resigned five days later. Zeigler says that he has gotten more done than most state auditors.

“There is not a Jim Zeigler-type in the U.S. Senate,” Zeigler said. “There is not a watchman against waste. We badly need a watchman for taxpayers. Just the interest alone on the national debt is becoming harder to pay each year. Someone needs to stand up. No one is doing that. I stood up in Montgomery and would do so in Washington.”

“The federal government must cut out waste and mismanagement,” Zeigler said. “Our national debt now exceeds $21 trillion dollars – and growing. No one is standing firm to rein in spending, balance the budget, and start gradually paying down the national debt.”

Zeigler said that his exploratory campaign “will gauge support and ability to raise the funds to get our message out.” The qualifying deadline to enter the Senate race is November 2019 only eleven months away.

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The primaries for the U.S. Senate seat are on March 2020.

A number of Republicans are reportedly mulling a 2020 Senate run. Congressmen Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) and Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) and state Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) are reportedly considering Senate runs. Gov. Bentley has even expressed interest in running for the Senate seat. There is speculation that Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, who recently challenged Ivey for Governor in the GOP primary could be a Senate candidate.

Doug Jones narrowly defeated former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore last year.

That was the only statewide race that any Democratic candidate has won in the state of Alabama since 2008. Alabama Democrats were absolutely destroyed all over the ballot in the 2018 election. There was not a competitive statewide race. The Alabama Democratic Party has struggled to even find candidates. Offices, including Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, Supreme Court Justice, appeals court judge, and Treasurer did not even have Democrats on the ballot. Senator Jones supported an unsuccessful attempt to replace Chairwoman Nancy Worley in the summer before the 2018 elections.  Alabama Democrats remain bitterly divided at the highest levels.

President Donald J. Trump (R) remains wildly popular in the state of Alabama and is expected to also be on the 2020 ballot.

Jim Zeigler was elected State Auditor in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 with over a million votes and 61 percent of the vote. His wife Jackie Zeigler was elected to the State Board of Education in 2016 with 62 percent of the vote in the seven counties of Alabama’s First District.

“My number one priority is of course to do the job as State Auditor, and I’ve been working on that all day every day, even today,” Zeigler said.

Zeigler is term-limited and cannot run for another term as State Auditor.

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