Five things you need to know about Gerald Dial

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The primary elections are over, but some highly sought spots still remain open due to the primary races resulting in runoffs. One of those races is for the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries seat.

Incumbent Agricultural Commissioner John McMillan announced in January he would not be seeking reelection, opting for a run for State Treasurer instead. Four candidates stepped-up to the plate seeking election in the June 5 Republican primary.

Former state Sen. Gerald Dial and Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate both garnered enough support to tip the race into a a runoff election set for July 17.

With that in mind, here are the five things you need to know about Gerald Dial:

1. He served 37 years in the military, retiring in 1997 as an Assistant Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard
Dial joined the Alabama National Guard in 1959, over the course of his 37 year career in the military he attended the Alabama Military Academy and the Engineering Officers Basic Course. In 1968 he also completed the rigorous training required to become a United States Army Ranger, and was ranked as the Assistant Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard when he retired in 1997.
2. He served in the state legislature as both a senator and a representative.

In 1974 Dial was elected to serve as a Representative to the Alabama House, a position he held for one term. After his term as a representative, Dial sought election to the Alabama State Senate District 13 in 1983 and won. He then held his position until 2006 coming back to the race in 2010 to win the district back.

This year, instead of seeking re-election, he’s joined the race for Agricultural Commissioner citing his 44 years of service in the Alabama Legislature as enough experience for the job.

3. He’s currently one of the President’s pro tempore at Troy University.

Then governor Guy Hunt appointed Dial to the Troy University Board of Trustees in 1991 where he now serves as President pro tempore for Area 5.

“Sen. Gerald Dial is one of the best public servants that I have met throughout my life in Alabama,” Troy Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. told the Trojan News Center. “For 26 years he has served as a member of the Troy University Board of Trustees and he has served well. Leadership in its truest sense is about pulling people together and focusing them in a common direction. Sen. Dial is the essence of a servant leader and one of whom we can all be proud.”

4. He was appointed by former governor Bob Riley to serve as the Executive Director of the Alabama Rural Action Commission.

Dial served as the Executive director of the Alabama rural action commission from 2007 to early 2018, he was appointed for the position by then governor Bob Riley. According to his campaign website, while serving in this position, Dial “helped secure grants for infrastructure improvements, rural broadband initiatives, and community development.”

5. He financed his campaign through his timber business

Pate, Dial’s opponent claimed he was the only farmer in the primary race, but Dial says that’s not true. “I am a farmer as well,” Dial told AL.com. “I financed my campaign off of timber.”

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