Point Clear, Ala. – In addition to 17 members of the state legislature, two state officials were kept out of the annual Governmental Affairs Conference of the Business Council of Alabama. Both omitees have the same last name — Zeigler.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler is left out for the third year in a row, which is hitting 100% since he has been in office only 2 ½ years.
This time, Zeigler is joined on the don’t-come-list by the newest member of the State Board of Education. Her name is Jackie Zeigler, Jim Zeigler’s wife of 25 years. Jackie represents District one, seven counties of southwest Alabama.
Hundreds of officials and political operatives will gather at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama Friday for the weekend-long conference. State officials are typically invited, but an exception seems to have been made for both Zeiglers.
Jim Zeigler jokingly said: “Maybe they were going in alphabetical order and ran out of invitations before they got to the Z’s.”
Mrs. Zeigler won the Republican runoff last year with a stunning 62% to 38% over Bentley-appointed incumbent Matt Brown. Brown was supported by about $220,000 of out-of-district campaign contributions from BCA and their friends. They wasted their money.
A week after Mrs. Zeigler upset the Bentley appointee in the Republican runoff, the Democratic nominee withdrew and endorsed Mrs. Zeigler. He was former Pritchard Mayor Ron Davis.
Davis said in his withdrawal statement:
“Back in Nov. when I qualified as a Democrat for State School Board my goal was to see Alabama education rise to one of the nation’s best. I believe Mrs. Zeigler’s record and passion for education will help improve our State in Education.”
“I wear it as a badge of honor when I am left out of things by Montgomery Insiders,” Jim Zeigler said Wednesday. “I have been left out of meetings, polls, political analyses, and campaign contributions.”
Zeigler said he would like to go to the BCA conference as a speaker rather than as an attendee. “I could explain to them some things that are wrong in state government and how they need to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”
Mrs. Zeigler took her seat on the SBOE February 9. She was long-time Principal of award-winning Mary B. Austin Elementary School in Mobile’s Spring Hill neighborhood. Her school won the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence. She had been teacher and Principal of Dauphin Island’s “Little Red School House” during the years the bridge to the island was out due to Hurricane Frederick