Beth Chapman

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Beth Chapman
51st Alabama Secretary of State
In office
2007–2013
Preceded by Nancy Worley (D)
Succeeded by James R. Bennett
38th Alabama State Auditor
In office
2003–2007
Preceded by Susan Parker (D)
Succeeded by Samantha Shaw (R)
Personal details
Born ( 1962-04-06) April 6, 1962 (age 52)
Greenville, Alabama
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) James Chapman (1988-2011, his death)
Children 2
Residence Hoover, Alabama & Montgomery, Alabama
Alma mater Fort Dale Academy [1]
University of Montevallo
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Beth Killough Chapman (born April 6, 1962). is an American politician from Alabama. A member of the Republican Party, she served as the state's 51st secretary of state from 2007 until she resigned on July 31, 2013 in order to accept a position with the Alabama Farmers Federation.[1]

Personal[edit]

Beth Killough was born in Greenville, Alabama. Following graduation from Fort Dale Academy [2], she earned a B.S. from the University of Montevallo, and a Master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 1988, she married James Chapman, with whom she has two sons, Winston Taylor Chapman (named in honor of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill) and William Thatcher Chapman (named in honor of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher). Her husband, James Chapman unexpectedly died on April 3, 2011, of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) at the age of 50.[2] The family currently lives in Hoover, Alabama. Chapman also maintains a residence in Montgomery, Alabama.

Political History[edit]

From 1995 to 1996, she served as Appointments Secretary in the Cabinet of Governor Fob James, becoming the first woman to serve in that post. During the 2000 presidential election season, she served as a delegate pledged to George W. Bush at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, and as a member of Alabama's delegation to the Electoral College later that year. Following a stint in the private sector, she served as Press Secretary for Lieutenant Governor Steve Windom from 2000 to 2001.

Resigning from Lt. Governor Windom's staff in November 2001, she entered the 2002 race for State Auditor, scoring an upset victory in the Republican primary, before goining on to win the general election, capturing a seat previously held by Democrat Susan Parker. She served as State Auditor of Alabama from 2003 to 2007. She was elected as Secretary of State in November 2006, defeating incumbent Nancy Worley by a margin of 57% to 43%.[3] She assumed that office in January 2007. Chapman was mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor of Alabama in the 2010 election.[4]

In early 2008, Chapman became the subject of attacks by Mark Montiel, a Republican former judge.[5] Montiel sought to have the Alabama Ethics Commission and the Attorney General review tens of thousands of dollars paid by Chapman's 2006 campaign to her husband and sons. Attorney General Troy King, a fellow Republican, announced the complaint against Chapman does not appear to raise any violations of the law. He also wrote that state law does not prohibit a candidate from hiring family members to work in a campaign.[6] Chapman was cleared by the Ethics Commission on the complaint.[7]

In May 2008, Chapman again made headlines when an Associated Press story revealed that Chapman's personal consulting firm is paid nearly $50,000 annually by a private charity that receives funding from the state government.[8] Democratic critics attacked Chapman, and Alabama Republicans generally, for engaging in such deals while attacking Democratic legislators holding state jobs. Chapman denied wrongdoing, and stated that the charity's funds paid to her firm come from fundraising, not its state grants. The Birmingham News, which had endorsed Chapman in her 2006 campaign,[9] rejected these arguments and sharply criticized her over the issue.[10]

On April 6, 2009, Chapman announced she would seek reelection as Alabama Secretary of State in 2010, and was successful in her bid.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bennett sworn in again as secretary of state (Montgomery Advertiser article-July 31, 2013)
  2. ^ James Chapman, 50 dies (Shelby County Reporter article)
  3. ^ Alabama Secretary of State Certificate of Election: General Election 2006
  4. ^ "Democrats Can’t Start a Fire Without a Sparks," Roll Call, May 15, 2007
  5. ^ "Former Judge Seeks Probe," Mobile Press-Register, March 18, 2008, p. B2
  6. ^ Alabama AG Says Complaint against Secretary of State Unsupported
  7. ^ Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman cleared by Ethics Commission on complaint she misused campaign funds[dead link]
  8. ^ "Double Dipping Controversy: Alabama Secretary of State Does Paid Charity Work," Mobile Press-Register, May 15, 2008, p. B2
  9. ^ "Our Recommendations," The Birmingham News, November 5, 2006, p. 2D
  10. ^ "Beth Chapman's Moonlighting," The Birmingham News, May 19, 2008, p. 4A
Preceded by
Nancy Worley
Secretary of State of Alabama
2007–2013
Succeeded by
James R. Bennett