Race an issue with approval of Montevallo trustee


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Race became an issue when the Alabama Senate approved Secretary of State Beth Chapman to replace state Sen. Roger Smitherman as a University of Montevallo trustee.

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley selected the Republican secretary of state to succeed the Democratic senator from Birmingham, and the Senate agreed Wednesday in a 21-10 vote that split along party lines.

Smitherman, who is black, says his replacement leaves only one black on the 15-member board of trustees. He says it looks like Alabama is going back to segregation.

The Senate's Republican leader, President Pro Tem Del Marsh, says Chapman has done a great job in her two terms as secretary of state and will do the same as a trustee.

The Senate's vote makes Chapman's selection official.

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