Chapman to step down as secretary of state

Published 1:46 pm Monday, July 1, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL / Shelby County Reporter

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman will step down Aug. 1 after seven years in office.

Chapman, a Shelby County resident, said she is stepping down after receiving an offer to work in political and public relations consulting.

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“(It’s) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I have to take,” she said.

Chapman declined to reveal the specifics of the job, saying she would let the company make the announcement. She said she the position does not involve lobbying.

Chapman has 17 months left in her term as Secretary of State. She said Gov. Robert Bentley will appoint someone to fill the vacancy when she leaves in August.

Chapman said she has not decided whether she will run for office again in the future.

“I’ll leave that open,” she said. “I’m not ready to close that door.”

Chapman was elected as Alabama’s 51st secretary of state in November 2006. Prior to that, she served four years as state auditor. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo and master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Chapman said highlights from her tenure as secretary of state include managing the largest presidential election in the state’s history and the only primary gubernatorial runoff and recount. She also said her office has made progress in their efforts to stop voter fraud and to implement electronic online business filings.

“I’m leaving his office in better shape than I found it … It’s a very, very good feeling,” she said.

Chapman said she will continue to serve on the University of Montevallo’s board of directors.

Chapman said her decision to take the new position was influenced in part by her husband’s death two years ago and her desire to spend more time with her sons, aged 19 and 22.

“There’s a lot of prayer and thought that went into it,” she said.