Republican State Auditor candidate Stan Cooke addressed the Mid-Alabama Republican Club on Saturday. Dr. Stan Cooke and State Rep. Andrew Sorrell both emphasized the importance of an independent State Auditor and urged that the powers of the office, most of which were usurped by the State Legislature in 1939, be restored.
Sorrell and Cooke are running in the Republican primary runoff on June 21.
“I was born in a small town in Walker County called Summit,” Cooke said. “It was later renamed Sumiton, because of the tons of coal mined out of it.”
Cooke said he grew up poor and worked at Drummond Coal as a young man, to pay for college.
“I attended four major colleges and earned six major degrees including two doctorates, one from the University of Alabama and one from UAB,” Cooke said.
Cooke is a pastor with the Kimberly Church of God and has a missionary school in Israel with over 800 students, as well as a business in Israel. He said that his experience in the private sector in warehousing and logistics prepared him to be Alabama’s State Auditor.
“That is exactly what the State Auditor’s job does: managing property and keeping the inventory control of the state,” Cooke said. “I think we have some business world models we can use,” to improve how the Auditor’s office functions Cooke said.
Cooke said he wants to make sure that every dollar is accounted for.
“The board of registrars is very important,” Cooke said, explaining that the Auditor appoints one out of the three registrars in 66 of Alabama’s 67 counties, with Jefferson County the lone exception.
“The board of registrars are the frontline of election battles,” Cooke said. “Those appointees need to be conservative constitutional Republicans.”
Cooke said that the state should, “Go back to appointing registrars for Jefferson County.
“I do not understand why we have a Democratic board of registrars in this state,” Cooke said. “Jefferson County has a problem. Jefferson County has a board of registrars that hires their own director. We cannot have that. That is why we have [precincts] like Legion Field which vote 90% in an election. That is impossible.”
Cooke said that he is not looking to use the Auditor’s position to advance to a higher office.
“I will do the job,” Cooke said. “I am not grandstanding, and I am not looking to use the job to get promoted to another position.”
Current State Auditor Jim Zeigler is term-limited from running for another term as State Auditor. Zeigler is running for Secretary of State.
Any registered voter in the state can vote in the Republican primary runoff, unless they voted in the May 24 Democratic primary.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].
Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.