With 17 months left in her term, Secretary of State Beth Chapman plans to resign Aug. 1 and enter private business. Chapman told The Associated Press she has an offer in government and public relations consulting that she can’t pass up, and she will end her decade in public office to take the position. She has not released details of the new job, but she said it doesn’t involve lobbying. A few months ago, Chapman was being talked about as a possible candidate for governor, but she said she is pleased with Republican Gov. Robert Bentley and would not run against him. “He’s not only my governor, he’s my friend,” she said. He also recently appointed her to the board of trustees of her alma mater, the University of Montevallo.
Chapman served four years as state auditor before defeating Democratic incumbent Nancy Worley to win the secretary of state’s office in 2006. She won re-election in 2010. By law, she couldn’t run for a third term in 2014. Chapman said if that had been an option, she likely would have done it.
Republican Gov. Robert Bentley will appoint someone to fill out Chapman’s term. Before her announcement, three Republicans were already running for the job in the 2014 election: Rep. John Merrill of Tuscaloosa, Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue and former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney. No Democrats have announced.