John Merrill

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John Merrill
John Merrill.jpg
Alabama Secretary of State
In office
January 19, 2015 - present
Term ends
Years in position 0
PredecessorJim Bennett (R)
Base salary$85,248
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$517,092
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Alabama House of Representatives District 62
Bachelor'sThe University of Alabama, 1990
Date of birthNovember 12, 1963
Place of birthWedowee, AL
ProfessionTuscaloosa County Board of Education
Office website
Personal website
John Merrill (b. November 12, 1963) is the current Republican Alabama Secretary of State. He was first elected to the office on November 4, 2014.

Merrill is a former Republican member of the Alabama House of Representatives, representing District 62 from 2010 to 2014.

Merrill served as the chairman of the Republican Party in 2009. He has been an executive committee member for the State Republican Executive Committee since 2009.[1]


Merrill earned his B.A. in history and political science from the University of Alabama in 1990. Merrill was a governmental affairs intern for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama from 1987 to 1988. He then worked for Randall Publishing Company as a national account executive from 1988 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, he was the assistant director of The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Authority. Merrill worked for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama as director of Business Development from 1993 to 1994. He was the director of Community Relations & Community Education for the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education from 1994 to 2014.[1]

Political career

Alabama Secretary of State (2015-present)

Merrill first won election to the secretary of state's office on November 4, 2014. He was sworn into office on January 19, 2015, replacing Jim Bennett (R).[2]

Alabama House of Representatives (2010-2014)

Merrill represented District 62 in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2010 to 2014.

Committee assignments


Merrill served on these committees in the 2011-2012 legislative session:

  • Subcommittee on Constitutional Issues
  • Subcommittee on Economic Development and Incentives
  • Subcommittee on Consent Calendars


Campaign themes

Merrill's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[3]

  • John’s Personal Employment with the Tuscaloosa County School System
Excerpt: "When John announced his candidacy in July of 2009, he indicated that if successful in his bid for the State House, he would leave the Board of Education as soon as possible upon gaining meaningful employment. He was not required to take this position since Board policy allows employees to campaign for and to serve in elective office. John's position on the issue of "double-dipping" dictated his reasoning behind leaving the Board."
  • Property Tax Increases
Excerpt: "Under no circumstances is John for increasing property taxes without a vote by the people."
  • Improving the Economy
Excerpt: "Improving the state of the economy is one of John’s top priorities."
  • Abortion
Excerpt: "John is against all forms of abortion."
  • Accountability and Transparency
Excerpt: "Transparency in government promotes accountability. A transparent and accountable government is able to provide citizens with information on what the government is doing and how it affects the local community."
  • Ethics Reform
Excerpt: "John knows that strong ethical leadership is vital to every part of government."
  • Education
Excerpt: "John is committed to working with leaders of education and business and industry to find new and improved ways to serve our students in both K-12 and higher education settings."
  • Economic Development
Excerpt: "John’s experiences with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and as the Assistant Director of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority uniquely qualify him to understand the challenges faced by local business and industries."
  • The Lottery
Excerpt: "John is against the lottery. As a Christian, and as a conservative Southern Baptist Deacon and Sunday School teacher at Calvary Baptist Church, John believes that all forms of gambling are wrong."
  • Prayer in School
Excerpt: "John believes that our citizens, especially our children, should be able to pray to Lord God Almighty any time and any place they would like."
  • The Pledge of Allegiance
Excerpt: "John believes that children in Alabama’s schools should begin everyday, in every school by saying the pledge to “Old Glory” because we are one nation under God."
  • Quality of Life Issues
Excerpt: "John believes that Legislative Discretionary money should be distributed to schools, volunteer fire departments, community ballparks and leagues, and municipalities within the district boundaries before it is distributed to groups outside the district."
  • Sunday Alcohol Sales
Excerpt: "...he believes that alcohol consumption is a personal issue. There are hundreds of people in Tuscaloosa who would like to vote on the issue of alcohol sales for a limited amount of time on Sundays."



See also: Alabama secretary of state election, 2014

Merrill ran for the open seat of Alabama Secretary of State. The previous incumbent, Jim Bennett (R), was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of previous officeholder Beth Chapman, and was not running for a full term in 2014.[4]

Merrill won the Republican nomination in the primary runoff on July 15, 2014.[5] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Primary runoff
Alabama Secretary of State, Republican Primary Runoff, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Merrill 53.1% 108,740
Reese McKinney 46.9% 95,877
Total Votes 204,617
Election Results via
Primary election
Alabama Secretary of State Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Merrill 39.6% 143,960
Green check mark transparent.pngReese McKinney 38.4% 139,763
James Perdue 22% 80,050
Total Votes 363,773
Election Results via Alabama Secretary of State.

General election
Secretary of State of Alabama, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Merrill 64.3% 733,298
     Democratic Lula Albert-Kaigler 35.6% 406,373
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 1,271
Total Votes 1,140,942
Election Results via Alabama Secretary of State.


See also: Alabama House of Representatives elections, 2010

Merrill defeated Jerry Tingle in the June 1 primary. He then defeated Constitution Party candidate Steven Kneussle in the November 2 general election.[6][7]

Alabama House of Representatives, District 62 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png John Merrill (R) 11,658
Steven Kneussle (C) 1,694
Alabama House of Representatives, District 62 Republican Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png John Merrill (R) 3,262
Jerry Tingle (R) 2,551

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for McKinney is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, McKinney raised a total of $517,092 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 19, 2015.[8]

John Merrill's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2014 Alabama Secretary of State Won $308,590
2010 Alabama House of Representatives, District 62 Won $208,502
Grand Total Raised $517,092

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Reese McKinney's donors each year.[9] Click [show] for more information.



In 2010, Merrill's endorsements included the following:[10]

  • The Alabama Tea Party Express
State legislative candidates endorsed by Tea Party organizations

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

John Merrill endorsed Newt Gingrich in the 2012 presidential election. [11]


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Arizona

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Arizona scorecards, email suggestions to

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Note: As of May 2015, we were unable to locate any scorecards for the state of Alabama. If you are aware of a scorecard Ballotpedia has not included please email it to


Merrill and his wife, Cindy, have two children.[1]

Recent news

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See also

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Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Bennett (R)
Alabama Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Gerald Allen
Alabama House District 62
Succeeded by
Rich Wingo (R)