By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
State Rep. Andrew Sorrell, R-Muscle Shoals, formally announced his campaign for state auditor on Monday, saying he wants to bring more responsibilities to the role.
“The auditor’s position has been stripped of duties and responsibilities over the last 100 years and I think that’s a shame,” Sorrell said. “I could help rebuild that position a little bit because there’s people out there saying, hey we need to get rid of this position, it doesn’t do enough. I’m saying, no we don’t need to get rid of it, we need to give it some responsibilities.”
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.
Sorrell said he would like to see the responsibilities of the Department of Public Examiners put back under the auditor’s department and attempted to pass legislation on it this year but was not able to move it through.
The examiner’s office can audit the books, accounts, and records of all state and county offices, officers, bureaus, boards, commissions, corporations, departments, and agencies and to report on expenditures, contracts, or other audit findings found to be in violation of law.
Sorrell was first elected to the Legislature in 2018 in House District 3, and is one of the most fiscally conservative members in the State House. He consistently votes against any bills that would spend or borrow state dollars, including the state budgets.
“I mean, who else would you rather have keeping track of your stuff for the state than somebody who’s very, very fiscally conservative,” Sorrell said.
Sorrell also said he worked during the legislative session to lessen the cuts made to the Auditor’s budget this year and thinks most of the attacks toward current state Auditor Jim Zeigler are political.
“I’ve watched how they treat Zeigler, for just being an outspoken conservative and that’s bothered me,” Sorrell said.
In his second term, Jim Zeigler can’t run for reelection.
So far the only other announced candidate for the office is Republican Stan Cooke. The primary is May 24, 2022. 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 recently.