Former Trojan on campaign trail
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Carolyn Gibson isn’t a politician, but several members of the Troy Rotary Club teased her that she’s beginning to sound like one.
And, it’s probably time that she did, because Gibson is a candidate for the office of state auditor in the June Democratic primary.
She was "back home" yesterday as guest speaker at the Troy Rotary Club where she was among friends.
Although she is a native of Jack in Coffee County, Gibson and her husband Don lived in Troy for 30 years before moving to Montgomery. She was director of career job placement at Troy State University for 17 years and was very active in the community.
She said move to the big city was made gradually.
"In Jack, we had a blinking light," she said, laughing. "In Troy, we had a full intersection and, in Montgomery, we had two full intersections."
For a while Gibson was content at home in the two-intersection town, but when State Auditor Susan Parker asked her to come work with her, she gave it a second thought and said, yes."
"People thought I lobbied for the job, but I didn’t," Gibson said. "Susan contacted me and I thought about it a long time before I made a decision."
chief of staff for the state auditor, Gibson found the work to be exciting, challenging and very rewarding.
"When we entered the office in 1999, it was in shambles," she said. "The state auditor is the custodian of the state’s property and equipment and it’s a very big responsibility. According to the Code of Alabama, the state auditor is to conduct an audit of all state agencies every two years. That was not being done when we got in office. I am proud to say today that the state auditor’s office is now in compliance. Being in compliance means that we are doing our job and doing it right."
Gibson said that, in 1999, only about 25 percent of the state’s equipment purchases were assigned numbers and now, the office is accountable for all equipment.
Gibson cited technological advances made in the state auditor’s office that have resulted in highly efficient coordinating, organizing and production methods.
For most of the time she was working as the chief of staff for the state auditor, Gibson gave no thought to seeking the office herself. But, when Parker’s eyes were set on another prize, Gibson began to give thought to running for the office of state auditor. Encouraged by other members of the staff, family and friends, she decided, "What have I got to lose!" and she threw her hat in the ring.
Although she never thought she would be a candidate for a state office, Gibson said she believes she has the experience, the leadership abilities, the motivation and the knowledge to do the job.
"I want to stay and implement things that we have started and do things that still need to be done," she said.
Gibson added that she is in the race to win, but if she doesn’t, she will do something where she can be productive and find satisfaction and enjoyment.