By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Republican Stan Cooke, a pastor from Kimberly, Alabama announced his campaign for State Auditor on Wednesday as current Auditor Jim Zeigler is term limited and cannot run for reelection.
Cooke said in a statement that his conservative Christian background makes him an ideal candidate to be auditor.
“I am a man of conviction, faith and integrity,” Cooke said. “As your state auditor I will make certain that our government runs efficiently and effectively while streamlining and cutting the bureaucratic red tape. As a conservative Christian I will make the people of our state proud while demanding accountability and transparency for your hard-earned tax dollars. It’s time to get to work and I am ready to serve you.”
Zeigler’s wife, Jackie Zeigler, is a current State Board of Education member and is “testing the waters” for a run for auditor next year, Jim Zeigler said in an email this week.
State House Rep. Andrew Sorrell, R-Muscle Shoals, told Alabama Daily News on Wednesday that he also plans on running for State Auditor but will formally announce his campaign next week.
The auditor’s office reports to the governor receipts and disbursement of revenues collected and paid into the treasury. It’s also responsible for the accounting of state property costing $500 or more.
State Auditor is typically a low-profile political seat but Zeigler in his past two terms has tried to expand the profile of the office by taking actions to block Gov. Kay Ivey’s new prison lease plan and the state’s proposed new Mobile Bay Way toll bridge. He was also an outspoken critic of former Gov. Robert Bentley.
Zeigler has come under political attacks from state lawmakers in recent years, including attempts to get rid of the auditor’s office.
Cooke is the founder and president of an international Christian mission organization, Abraham’s Promise, that directs and supports benevolence programs in Israel, a Christian School in Israel and educational and humanitarian programs in the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ecuador.
Cooke ran for auditor in 2018 but lost to Zeigler with 32% of the vote in the Republican primary.
The state primary election is May 24, 2022.