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Republicans dominate minor statewide races

Next week will see the primaries for a few minor state races, including state auditor, state treasurer, commissioner of agriculture and industries and chief justice.

Outside of the auditor’s race, which will have both a Republican and Democrat on the general election ballot in November, the races are solely represented by the Republican party.

STATE AUDITOR

Incumbent Jim Ziegler is looking to maintain his position against Republican contenders Stan Cooke and Elliott Lipinsky. Whoever wins the nomination will face Democrat Miranda Joseph in the November general election.

Ziegler has said his goal is to provide accountability to the taxpayers of Alabama by maintaining accurate records of all personal property valued at $500 and above, as well as items deemed sensitive in nature. He has pledged to perform the duties of this office with honesty, openness and integrity.

Cooke previously ran for lieutenant governor in 2014 and for the House of Representatives in 2010. He has run his campaign on six issues: integrity, accountability, checks and balances, efficiency, growth and honor.

Lipinsky is currently an assistant district attorney for Wilcox County and began his career in the Fourth Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s Office in Selma. He has said he is running out of a sense of service and to inject some new blood into Alabama politics.

Joseph, the lone Democrat on the ballot, has run for the auditor’s position twice before, in 2010 and 2014, but lost in the general election in both instances. She claims the state auditor needs to be someone who has been certified and trained by Alabama schools and professional boards and who is not new to the demands of the state auditor’s office.

STATE TREASURER

The race for state treasurer is dominated by the Republican party with David Black, Stephen Evans and John McMillan seeking the nomination. They are vying for the seat currently filled by Young Boozer, who cannot run for another term.

Black made history in 2013 by being the first Republican to win an election in Colbert County since Reconstruction. He said his background in finance and economics will help him perform the duties of treasurer.

Evans has experience consulting to both individual and institutional investors. His goal for the treasurer’s office is to transform it from merely a caretaker of unclaimed property and state funds into a resource that will improve the quality of life for all Alabamians.

McMillan is the current commissioner of agriculture and industries for the state, having won the seat in 2011. He wants to bring ethics, transparency and common-sense conservative principles back to the executive branch of state government.

COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRIES

This seat is currently held by John McMillan, who is seeking the state treasurer’s seat. The Republican party has fielded four men seeking this position: T.O. Crane, Gerald Dial, Cecil Murphy and Rick Pate. No Democrats are running.

Crane has years of experience working in the food industries, retail and security areas. He hopes his qualification will help him take the position, where he plans to being integrity and a fresh perspective to the office.

Dial is the current state Senator for District 13. Under his campaign slogan “It’s Dial Time,” he wants to focus on growing the economy, protecting private property rights, increasing educational opportunities, creating more transparency and implementing government efficiency if elected.

Murphy hopes to provide the leadership necessary to keep the fair trade of Alabama’s products alive and well and to keep food safe by promoting agriculture and industries in rural and small communities, in addition to the larger communities.

Pate is a self-titled agri-businessman and serves as the mayor of Lowndesboro. He is looking to foster a better business environment for the largest employer in Alabama: agriculture and forestry.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Only two candidates are seeking the position of chief justice, Tom Parker and incumbent Lyn Stuart, both Republicans.

Parker is an associate justice on the state Supreme Court. In a press release, he stated, “Alabama is a conservative state. We revere the Constitution and the Rule of Law. And I believe our courts are the battleground for our God-given rights as free people.”

Stuart is the acting chief justice and is seeking a full term. She took over in 2016 following former Chief Justice Roy Moore’s suspension from the court.