On Thursday, State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) was at Republican headquarters in Hoover to qualify for Secretary of State. Zeigler told his supporters that “Alabama needs a watchman as Secretary of State” and that is what he will be.

“Over the next eight years, the job of Secretary of State will be vital,” Zeigler said. “The Secretary of State is our top election administrator.”

The nation is currently having a national dialogue over how it wants elections to be handled. One side - including the Biden administration - wants to see the voting process go to week-long or even months-long voting, no voter ID requirements, voting electronically, paid ballot harvesters, mail-in ballots, and convicted felons being able to vote.

The other side, which includes the Alabama Legislature, has pushed for enhancements to election integrity, election day voting, voter ID, no same-day voter registration, regular cleaning of the voter rolls, etc.

Zeigler made it clear that his priority, if elected as Secretary of State, would be to enforce strict election integrity measures.

“We face attempts from all angles to relax rules on elections and make it easier to cheat,” Zeigler said. “Jim Zeigler will fight against that. We face efforts to allow noncitizens to vote. Jim Zeigler will fight against that. We face efforts to change election day to election week or election month. Jim Zeigler will fight against that. We face assaults against the commonsense requirements of voter ID. Jim Zeigler will fight against that.”

Zeigler has been running an exploratory campaign for governor but dropped out last week without qualifying because he could not raise the money to get his message out. 1819 News asked if that would be true in this race as well.

“It won’t be a problem,” Zeigler said.

1819 News asked if Zeigler has seen any polling on this race. Zeigler said that he had and that he is leading the field.

“As your State Auditor, some people have been called ‘the Watchman’,” Zeigler said. “I will continue as your watchman over the election process as your Secretary of State.”

Zeigler faces a crowded field for Secretary of State that includes Christian Horn, Ed Packard, and State Rep. Wes Allen.

Current Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill (R) is term-limited from running again.

Zeigler has been the Alabama State Auditor since his election in 2014. He was term-limited from seeking another term as auditor. Zeigler is also a former Public Service Commissioner.

The Republican primary will be on May 24. No Democrat qualified for State Auditor so the GOP primary should be winner take all.

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