State Auditor candidate State Rep. Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) appealed to voters in Vestavia Hills at the Mid-Alabama Republican Club (MARC) ahead of the Republican primary runoff on June 21. Sorrell emphasized that he is running for the auditor position “in order to save it” and restore its historical powers.

“Currently we have stolen property in state government. We know who stole it, but we can’t do anything about it,” Sorrell said. “As your State Auditor, I will work with the Attorney General and work with local district attorneys to prosecute people who steal from the state.”

Sorrell said that he knows from his pawnshop business that shoplifting is a problem and that you can’t catch all of them, but when you do catch them if you make an example out of them the word spreads really quickly.

‘Missing weapons are a problem,” Sorrell said. “Any person who can legally obtain a gun buys them from a store. Anybody who is obtaining them illegally is someone you don’t want with guns, because they have already done something bad to have their firearm rights taken away.”

Sorrell said that the State Auditor also appoints one-third of the members of the board of registrars in 66 of Alabama’s 67 counties. That one county where the registrars are not appointed by constitutional officers is Jefferson County – something that Sorrell thinks should change.

“We can see in states like Georgia how one large county can turn an entire state,” Sorrell said, warning that Democrats need to flip just one county commission district to gain control of elections in Jefferson County.

A bill to abolish the State Auditor was introduced this past legislative session.

“Only one Senator voted against eliminating the State Auditor and it was a Democrat,” Sorrell said. “I was told it was not going to come up on the calendar in the House, but there it was on the calendar on the last day of the session. It was number three on the calendar, so I had time to give each member my elevator speech on why we need a State Auditor.”

The Amendment to abolish the auditor’s position failed in the House.

“The Auditor does not audit,” Sorrell said.

The legislature took the auditing power away from the auditor in 1939 and gave it to the Examiner of Public Accounts, who answers to the legislature and not the people.

“Your auditor needs to be independent,” Sorrell said.

He introduced legislation to restore the auditor’s auditing powers but that bill was, “Killed by a committee chairman.”

“We need to restore the auditor,” Sorrell said. “I am running for the position to save it.”

Sorrell faces Dr. Stan Cooke in the Republican primary runoff election on Tuesday.

The MARC meets on the second Saturday of each month in the Vestavia public library.

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