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Chapman considering running for auditor

Beth Chapman used to be a stand up comedian. She jokes and says she is a lot better suited for politics, at least her career in politics looks more promising.

Chapman is the chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, which boasts the largest Republican vote in the state, and she has sent letters to supporters seeking donations to fund a run for the GOP nod for state auditor. Democratic incumbent Susan Parker has her sights on loftier goals and will not stand for re-election.

Parker, who is a Democrat, defeated former auditor Pat Duncan, another Shelby County Republican who has also shown interest in running for her old job again. Chapman would serve the state better.

If she wins the GOP nod, she will face the Democratic nominee. Among those considering the run is Greg Pearce of Alexander City, who told a county gathering of Democrats last week that he was planning on running too.

Chapman knows her politics and has the experience to back it up. She served as a cabinet member in former Gov. Fob James administration for the first two years of his last term. She has the distinction of being the only woman to serve as a governors appointments secretary.

She has also worked for the number two state officeholder, serving as press secretary and as campaign manager for Lt. Gov. Steve Windom's upcoming bid for governor. She left his camp to consider her run for auditor.

Chapman has her own company, Beth Chapman & Associates, LLC, a political and public relations consulting firm. Through that connection she has worked for various charitable organizations and helped candidates like George Wallace Jr., Supreme Court Justice Lyn Stuart, and New York Mayor Rudolph Guliani in his race against now-Sen. Hillary Clinton(before he dropped out, she notes).

Why run for office when shes used to helping others? She says it might be the right time to get off the sidelines and do something herself to serve the people.

She touts "honesty and integrity in government," which she says will be a theme in this years major state races.

A native of Butler County, she'll make politics interesting if she does throw her hat in the ring. Like most folks considering it, shell likely announce any day now. She wants to raise the money first to be a "serious contender," which she says youve got to have.

Chapman has always wanted to be in public service, which is probably why she's been around it most of her life. Last year, in her first political race ever, she placed first in a field of nine as a statewide George W. Bush delegate to the GOP National Convention.

If she can get the same results outside of Shelby County, she just might be the other woman to win a constitutional office come next year.

Kim N. Price is publisher of The Outlook. He can be reached at 256-234-4281, ext. 27. His e-mail address is kim.price@alexcityoutlook.com.