Jim Zeigler

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Jim Zeigler
State Auditor of Alabama
Assumed office
January 19, 2015
Governor Robert Bentley
Kay Ivey
Preceded by Samantha Shaw
Personal details
Born (1948-05-23) May 23, 1948 (age 70)
Sylacauga, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Alabama,
Tuscaloosa
(BA)
Faulkner University (JD)

Jim Zeigler (born May 23, 1948) is an American lawyer and politician. He is the current State Auditor of Alabama. Before becoming State Auditor, he served on the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Early life and education[edit]

While a student at the University of Alabama, Zeigler served as the president of the Student Government Association (SGA).[1] Zeigler lived at Mallet Hall from 1966 to 1970, and served as SGA president from 1970-71. He was one of the few to be elected to the post in opposition to "The Machine," a semi-secret alignment of fraternities and sororities that historically dominated the university's student government.[2] He graduated from the university in 1972.[3] He graduated from the Faulkner University Jones School of Law in 1978.[3]

Political career[edit]

He won a position on the Alabama Public Service Commission in 1974, at the age of 24. He did not run for reelection in 1978.[4]

He ran for state office unsuccessfully seven times, four as a Democrat, and three as a Republican, losing elections for President of the Public Service Commission in 1976, the Alabama Board of Education in 1978, Supreme Court of Alabama in 1982, State Treasurer of Alabama in 1986, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in 1996, Public Service Commission in 1998, and State Auditor of Alabama in 2002. These close losses earned him the nickname "Mr. 49 Percent".[5][6] In 2006, Zeigler announced the end of his political activism, as he resigned from the Conservative Christians of Alabama and the League of Christian Voters, two political action committees for which he served as chairman.[6]

Zeigler ran for State Auditor in 2014. In the Republican primary, Zeigler faced Dale Peterson, candidate for Agriculture Commissioner in 2010; Adam Thompson, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Alabama Secretary of State's office; and Hobbie Sealy, former Deputy Conservation Commissioner. Zeigler won a runoff against Peterson, and defeated Miranda Joseph, the Democratic Party nominee, in the general election.[5] In 2015, Zeigler filed lawsuits against Luther Strange, the Attorney General of Alabama, and Baldwin County, Alabama schools to stop them from spending taxpayer money on political campaigns.[7] The suits were dismissed.[8]

Following the Charleston church shooting in June 2015, Zeigler advocated that parishioners take their guns to church.[9] Zeigler gave a speech to the League of the South, termed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, in September 2015.[10][11] In March 2016, Zeigler filed an ethics complaint against Robert J. Bentley, the Governor of Alabama, for allegedly using state funds in an extramarital affair.[12] On March 2, 2017, Zeigler became embroiled in nationwide controversy and condemnation when he posted a picture on Twitter comparing Congresswomen dressed in white to the Ku Klux Klan.[13] Zeigler defended his post, saying that when the Congresswomen wore white as a symbol of Women's Suffrage at a speech by President Trump, "when they did that, they opened themselves up to criticisms and questions about that."[14]

In November 2017, following the allegations of child molestation made against Republican Roy Moore, Zeigler was quoted as saying: "Even if you accept the Washington Post's report as being completely true, it's much ado about very little."[15] Zeigler argued that relationships between grown men and teenage girls were acceptable because "take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus."[16] Multiple Biblical scholars disputed his defense, noting that the exact ages of Joseph and Mary at the time they were betrothed or married remain uncertain, as they are not included in the Bible. In addition, Jesuit priest Jim Martin tweeted that "...comparing the allegations against Roy Moore in any way to Joseph and Mary is disgusting."[17]

Personal life[edit]

Zeigler is married to Jackie Zeigler, a member of the Alabama State Board of Education, and has two children.[3]

Electoral history[edit]

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Justice Republican Primary Election, 1996
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Thompson 86,545 50.40
Republican Jim Zeigler 85,161 49.60
Alabama Public Service Commissioner Republican Primary Election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Wallace Jr. 184,333 59.05
Republican Jim Zeigler 94,968 30.42
Republican (first name not given) Lyon 32,888 10.53
Alabama Auditor Republican Primary Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Zeigler 123,279 42.9
Republican Beth Chapman 82,013 28.6
Republican Pat Duncan 51,553 18.0
Republican Meredith Mayes 30,279 10.5
Alabama Auditor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Beth Chapman 73,118 52.56
Republican Jim Zeigler 65,983 47.44
Alabama Auditor Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Zeigler 164,002 47.07
Republican Dale Peterson 84,828 24.35
Republican Adam Thompson 64,688 18.57
Republican Hobbie Sealy 34,910 10.02
Alabama Auditor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Zeigler 131,637 65
Republican Dale Peterson 71,141 35
Alabama Auditor Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Zeigler 716,122 62.93
Democratic Miranda Joseph 420,843 36.98
Write-ins Write-ins 1,010 0.09

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jim Zeigler, Alabama's new auditor, vows 'there is a new sheriff in Montgomery', Associated Press (January 18, 2015).
  2. ^ Community submission: Nostalgic return for University of Alabama graduate Jim Zeigler (press release) (March 31, 2014).
  3. ^ a b c Jim Stinson, Alabama elections 2014: State auditor candidates Miranda Joseph, Jim Zeigler, AL.com ( October 22, 2014).
  4. ^ "Jim Zeigler, Alabama's new auditor, vows 'there is a new sheriff in Montgomery'". AL.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Jim Zeigler elected Alabama state auditor over Democrat Miranda Joseph". AL.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "The Tuscaloosa News - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Auditor Jim Zeigler files lawsuit against AG's office, Baldwin County Schools: 'It's an Alabama issue'". AL.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Judge dismisses lawsuit by state auditor against attorney general, Baldwin County school officials". AL.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Alabama auditor Jim Zeigler has a message for churchgoers: Bring your gun". AL.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  10. ^ "SPLC critical of Zeigler's meeting with 'hate group'". The Montgomery Advertiser. September 27, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  11. ^ Nick Lough (October 1, 2015). "WAFF 48 Investigates: State auditor has ties to hate group". fox10tv.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  12. ^ Koplowitz, Howard (March 25, 2016). "Jim Zeigler files ethics complaints against Gov. Robert Bentley, Rebekah Caldwell Mason". AL.com. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  13. ^ "AL auditor compares Democratic congresswomen to KKK". AL.com. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Alabama State Official: Even If Moore Accusations Are True, No Big Deal". Revere Press. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  15. ^ http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/politics/southunionstreet/2017/11/09/woman-says-roy-moore-had-sexual-contact-her-when-she-14/848819001/
  16. ^ http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/alabama-state-auditor-defends-roy-moore-against-sexual-allegations-invokes-mary-and-joseph/article/2640217
  17. ^ Woodward, Calvin (2017-11-10). "Bible Scholars Disagree With the 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph' Defense of Roy Moore". Time. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Samantha Shaw
Auditor of Alabama
2015–present
Incumbent