Ag Commissioner race takes dark turn with ‘flat out lie’ in new ad

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​With just eight days to go before ​Primary Runoff Election Day, accusations are flying in the ​Yellowhammer State.

​In race for Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries candidate Gerald Dial is hurling insults at his GOP-opponent Rick Pate.

​In a newly released campaign ad, Dial​ dredges up a 32 year old divorce document between Pate and his ex-wife, Carolyn Pate.

The ad references a June 1986 divorce petition filed by Carolyn, that states “the Wife avers that the Husband has committed actual violence to her person and from his manner and conduct toward her, she is reasonably convinced that he will commit further violence upon her person, intended with danger to her life and health.”

“I denied that then and I deny that now,” Pate told the Decatur Daily referencing the alleged violence. He explained both he and his wife exchanged mean comments during the divorce, but now are on good terms and exchange annual Christmas cards. According to Pate, in May Carolyn “wrote a note ‘to whom it may concern’ that said they had a good marriage until the divorce, when hurtful words were exchanged.”

By the time the final divorce documents were filed, there was no mention of violence or restraining orders as the two were on more amicable terms.

In defense of Pate

Ronda McCaul Walker, a former candidate for Alabama’s State Senate District 25, took to Facebook Monday to call out Dial’s ad.

“Voters say they hate negative political ads, so why do candidates continue to go negative? Because negative campaigning gets votes. You say you hate it, but then you go and vote for the most negative candidate in the race. If the negativity and lies didn’t fool you, trust me, candidates wouldn’t do it,” wrote Walker. “There is a political commercial running right now about my friend Rick Pate for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries that tells a flat out lie. A nasty one, too. Rick’s opponent accuses him of spousal abuse, an accusation he fabricated from a 32 year old divorce document.”
Pate’s current wife, to whom he’s been married to for 30 years, Julie Dismukes Pate also took to Facebook in defense of her husband.
“Rick denied this claim and in the final divorce papers nothing was mentioned about it,” Julie explained. “By the time she returned to her home in CA, they were on amicable terms and she has recently written a letter to that effect for Rick to share.”
Read Walker and Dismukes Pate’s full posts below.

Voters say they hate negative political ads, so why do candidates continue to go negative? Because negative campaigning gets votes. You say you hate it, but then you go and vote for the most negative candidate in the race. If the negativity and lies didn’t fool you, trust me, candidates wouldn’t do it.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the law allows political candidates to lie in their TV ads. Yep, honesty and proof of claims required for brand advertising are not required for political ads. Nike & Coca-Cola would be sued for lying to you on a TV commercial, but it is perfectly ok for a politician to lie to you during the 6 o’clock news. The onus is on you to verify the facts purported in the ad, but most people don’t go to that trouble they just buy the lie hook, line, and sinker.

There is a political commercial running right now about my friend Rick Pate for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries that tells a flat out lie. A nasty one, too. Rick’s opponent accuses him of spousal abuse, an accusation he fabricated from a 32 year old divorce document. Rick’s ex-wife recently wrote a letter saying Rick NEVER abused her. But that inconvenient truth doesn’t seem to matter to Rick’s opponent. Rick Pate and his wife Julie Dismukes Pate have been married for 30 years and they have two sons. Imagine the impact of this lie on his family. It’s not ok.

We say we want better people to run for office. We say we are tired of the liars and cheaters. Well, let’s prove that on July 17 and reject the same ole, same ole. I encourage everyone in the State of Alabama to vote for my friend Rick Pate for Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries. Vote July 17!

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT – Gerald Dial has started running his negative commercial against Rick in the race for Commissioner of Ag and Industries accusing him of domestic violence. I am going on record right now and saying that it is a LIE! It is a lie by a desperate career politician who will say anything to get elected.

THE TRUTH – Gerald Dial searched Rick’s legal record and found NOTHING – not an arrest, not a lawsuit – NOTHING until he came across a divorce document from 32 years ago where his ex-wife claimed she felt physically threatened and had a restraining order issued against Rick. Rick denied this claim and in the final divorce papers nothing was mentioned about it. By the time she returned to her home in CA, they were on amicable terms and she has recently written a letter to that effect for Rick to share.

Rick never did anything to harm his ex-wife and also in 30 years of marriage has certainly never done anything to harm me. This is a LIE by a despicable old career politician who needs to be sent home. I know that I do not need to convince those who know Rick personally, but please help us spread the TRUTH to those who do not.

Thanks for standing with us, Julie

July 17 runoff

In the June 5 primary, Pate took home 40.37 percent of the vote. Meanwhile Dial garnered 29.98 percent. As no candidate received at least 50 percent of the statewide vote, the two are headed to a runoff. 

They will face-off on Tuesday, July 17 where voters will decide who advances to the general election. As no Democratic candidate qualified, the winner will most likely become the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.

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