Meet your presumed new Agricultural Commissioner Rick Pate

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Incumbent Agricultural Commissioner John McMillan announced in January that 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 primary, with former state Sen. Gerald Dial and Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate both garnering enough support to tip the race into a a runoff election.

The runoff race took a dark turn when Dial began hurling insults at Pate and lying about him in a campaign ad. But the negative campaign strategy didn’t work, Pate won the runoff election with nearly 57 percent of the vote.

Now, facing no Democratic challenger in the November general election, Pate has presumably won has race, and will become Agricultural Commissioner in 2019.

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

1. He’s a cattle breeder and farmer.
Pate’s father, Harold Pate was an award winning cattle farmer, and charter member of the National Cattlemen’s Association. “Pate is said to have done more over a longer period of time to promote and advance Charolais cattle in Alabama than any other individual,” said Auburn University.
His son, candidate Rick Pate is now one of the owners and operators of the Pate Charolais farm, a Charolais cattle farm and breeder in Lowndesboro, Ala.
2. He’s been the Mayor of Lowndesboro since 1997

First elected in 1997, Pate has been the mayor of Lowndesboro, a town with a population of 107, since 1997. Under Pate’s leadership the town, southwest of Montgomery, has more than $1.2 million in cash reserves. In fact, the town operates a water system, which has twice been named the second-best-tasting water by the non-profit Alabama Rural Water Association.

3. He holds a bachelors degree in Horticulture.

Pate attended the University of Auburn’s agricultural school, and earned a bachelors degree in Horticulture. Growing up, and spending nearly all of his life on a farm, has given him an affinity for farmers, and their lifestyle.

“When I was approached about running for commissioner of agriculture and industries, I saw it as an opportunity to serve our state and promote the agricultural community that I know from my upbringing,” Pate said announcing his campaign.

4. He owns an award-winning landscaping business.
Pate has built Pate Landscape Co., Inc. into an award winning, profitable business over 36 years.  It currently employs 23 people. The firm has completed projects such as the Bryant-Denny Stadium Expansion in Tuscaloosa, AU School of Nursing & Pharmacy, Wetumpka WindCreek Casino and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing in Montgomery.
5. He holds several positions in the Alabama Republican Party.

Not only a member of the Alabama Republican Party, Pate is vice-chair of the Lowndes County Republican Party and serves as the Lowndes County Place 1 member of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee.

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