Beth Chapman

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Beth Chapman
51st Secretary of State of Alabama
In office
GovernorBob Riley
Robert J. Bentley
Preceded byNancy Worley
Succeeded byJames R. Bennett
38th Auditor of Alabama
In office
Preceded bySusan Parker
Succeeded bySamantha Shaw
Personal details
Born (1962-04-06) April 6, 1962 (age 57)
Greenville, Alabama
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)James Chapman (died 2011)
ResidenceHoover, Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama
Alma materFort Dale Academy
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]

Early life[edit]

Beth Killough was born in Greenville, Alabama. Following graduation from Fort Dale Academy, she earned a B.S. from the University of Montevallo, and a master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.[citation needed]

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 winning 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%.[2] She assumed that office in January 2007. Chapman was mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor of Alabama in the 2010 election.[3]

In early 2008, Chapman became the subject of attacks by Mark Montiel, a Republican former judge.[4] 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.[5] Chapman was cleared by the Ethics Commission on the complaint.[6]

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.[7] 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,[8] rejected these arguments and sharply criticized her over the issue.[9]

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

Personal life[edit]

In 1988, Killough married James Chapman, with whom she has twin sons, Taylor and Thatcher. Her husband, James Chapman died on April 3, 2011, of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) at the age of 50.[10] The family lives in Hoover, Alabama. Chapman also maintains a residence in Montgomery, Alabama.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Bennett sworn in again as secretary of state (Montgomery Advertiser article-July 31, 2013) Archived June 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Alabama Secretary of State Certificate of Election: General Election 2006 Archived March 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Democrats Can’t Start a Fire Without a Sparks," Roll Call, May 15, 2007
  4. ^ "Former Judge Seeks Probe," Mobile Press-Register, March 18, 2008, p. B2
  5. ^ The Associated Press (18 March 2008). "Alabama AG says complaint against secretary of state unsupported". The Huntsville Times blog. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  6. ^ Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman cleared by Ethics Commission on complaint she misused campaign funds Archived December 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Double Dipping Controversy: Alabama Secretary of State Does Paid Charity Work," Mobile Press-Register, May 15, 2008, p. B2
  8. ^ "Our Recommendations," The Birmingham News, November 5, 2006, p. 2D
  9. ^ "Beth Chapman's Moonlighting," The Birmingham News, May 19, 2008, p. 4A
  10. ^ "James Chapman, 50, dies - Shelby County Reporter". Retrieved 19 August 2016.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nancy Worley
Secretary of State of Alabama
Succeeded by
James R. Bennett