Florence attorney Brent Woodall campaigned for months in the tightly contested State Auditor’s race before switching to the Public Service Commission Place 1 race, challenging incumbent PSC Commissioner Jeremy Oden (R). Woodall recently endorsed Dr. Stan Cooke (R) in his former race, during an interview with internet journalist Christopher Peeks.

“I encourage anyone who was supporting me for State Auditor to cast their vote for Stan Cooke,” Woodall told Peeks. “He is a Christian, a family man, and a concerned citizen who will always have the best interests of Alabama and her citizens at the forefront of every decision he makes.  We can depend on him to do the right thing for the right reason and that is why I am endorsing him today.”

Cooke thanked Woodall for the endorsement in a statement to 1819 News.

“I want to thank Brent Woodall for his endorsement and support of my campaign to become Alabama’s next state auditor,” Cooke told 1819 News. “I am honored by his endorsement, and I will continue to work hard to make Alabama the greatest that it can be.”

Cooke is the Pastor of Kimberly Church of God. He is the founder and President of an evangelist group with offices both in the U.S. and Israel. Before entering the ministry full time, Cooke worked for years for major corporations in warehousing. The experience, Cooke says, makes him uniquely qualified to be the State Auditor as the Auditor’s office is tasked with performing property inventories to make sure that state property is not improperly discarded, surplused, or stolen. Cooke has numerous college degrees in a variety of subject matters.

Contrary to popular perception, the State Auditor does not do audits anymore. The writers of Alabama’s historic 1901 Constitution had intended for the Auditor to be an independent watchdog against corruption by state agencies as well as the Governor. That is how the Auditor functioned for the first four decades under the new constitution. Around 1940 the State Legislature usurped the Auditor’s powers and authority for themselves. Today state audits are performed by the appointed Examiner of Public Accounts, who answers directly to the Alabama Legislature. The state has functioned this way for over 80 years, but Cooke and other Auditor candidates believe that the state auditing powers should be transferred back to the Auditor as our forefathers had intended in 1901.

“I am running for State Auditor to protect hard-working Alabamians and their tax dollars from those who are the tax spenders and those that have overzealous political ambitions,” Cooke said.

Republican candidates for State Auditor include Stan Cooke, Rusty Glover, and Andrew Sorrell.

Republican candidates for PSC Place 1 include John Hammock, Stephen McLamb, Jeremy H. Oden, and Brent Woodall.

The Republican primary is May 24. No Democratic candidate qualified for either race, so the GOP primary is effectively the winner of the offices.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.