Longtime Mobile County educator Jackie Zeigler defeated appointed incumbent Matthew Brown in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff for the District 1 seat on the Alabama Board of Education. Zeigler will face Democrat Ron Davis, the former Prichard mayor, in the general election in November.
With 16,517 votes counted Zeigler received 10,223 votes to Brown’s 6,284, a 61.89 percent to 38.11 percent win for the former Mary B. Austin Elementary School principal in Mobile.
Zeigler won Baldwin County 57.9 percent to 42 percent, with 4,154 votes to Brown’s 3,018. She won Mobile County with 3,876 votes to Brown’s 1,796.
“I promise I won’t let you down,” Zeigler said in a social media video for supporters. “You might not always agree with everything I do, but I will not ever not stand up for what’s moral, ethical and Christian. I just won’t do it.”
Previously, Zeigler ended the March 1 primary with a 10,000-vote advantage over Brown but failed to reach the required 50 percent to avoid a runoff, while the pair bested challengers Adam Bourne and Carl Myrick.
Brown, a Fairhope resident, called Zeigler to concede late Tuesday night.
“Congratulations to Jackie Zeigler for her victory tonight,” Brown said in a statement. “I wish her the best as she represents District 1 on the State Board of Education. I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to serve on the Board and look forward to completing my term.”
District 1 encompasses more than 110,000 students in 154 public schools located in Baldwin, Mobile, Conecuh, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw and Escambia counties. The district is also home to city school systems in Andalusia, Brewton, Chickasaw, Opp, Saraland and Satsuma.
Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Brown to the seat in July 2015 to fill a vacancy left when former board member Al Thompson left for the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees.