State Auditor


  The Republican runoff for state auditor on July 15 features two of Alabama's best known political mavericks who promise to transform the smallest office in the state Capitol into a center for uncovering wrongdoing.

Mobile attorney Jim Zeigler is known as "Mr. 49 Percent" for losing many close races. He takes on retired Shelby County businessman Dale Peterson, who became an Internet sensation in his 2010 race for agriculture commissioner where he toted a gun and promised to go after the crooks in Montgomery.

The Republican race for state auditor features four candidates seeking to replace Republican Sam Shaw.

There's former Public Service Commission member Jim Zeigler of Mobile, who calls himself "Mr. 49 Percent" because he's lost so many close races.

There's also retired Shelby County businessman Dale Peterson, who became an Internet sensation in 2010 with his video where he carried a gun and promised to run the thugs out of Montgomery.

Outgoing Secretary of State Beth Chapman has endorsed one of her employees, Adam Thompson, for state auditor.

In a statement Thursday, Chapman said Thompson was her right hand when she served as state auditor from 2003 to 2007, and he is the only candidate with experience in the auditor's office. Thompson currently works in the secretary of state's office.

He faces Anniston attorney Ray Bryan in the Republican primary on June 3, 2014. Democrat Miranda Joseph of Birmingham is also running.

Democrat Miranda Joseph of Birmingham is making another run for state auditor.

Joseph ran against Republican incumbent Samantha Shaw in 2010 and lost. She has filed papers with the state to run again in 2014, when Shaw won't be on the ballot.

Joseph has created a campaign website and says she plans a formal kickoff soon. She is stressing her work as a certified internal auditor. Joseph filed a report with the state last week saying she had not yet raised or spent $25,000 on her campaign. That's the threshold for filing periodic reports of donations.

An Alabama state lawmaker has pre-filed legislation that would require the state auditor to keep a searchable public database listing any piece of personal property owned by the state and valued at $500 or more.

Homewood Republican Rep. Paul Demarco announced Monday that he is sponsoring the legislation in an attempt to bring more transparency and accountability to government.

DeMarco says taxpayers should be able to see what exactly is being purchased with their tax money.

The race for state auditor in 2014 has begun.

Adam Thompson, the deputy chief of staff or Alabama's secretary of state, announced Wednesday that he will run as a Republican for auditor. The current auditor, Samantha Shaw, has served two terms and can't run again. Shaw said Wednesday she doesn't plan to seek any office in 2014 and will help her husband, Greg Shaw, with his re-election campaign for the Supreme Court.

Thompson worked in the state auditor's office when Beth Chapman held the post and then followed her to the secretary of state's office in 2007.