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Pate beats out Dial in Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries runoff

Rick Pate has won the July 17 GOP runoff election and will be the Republican candidate for the Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries in the general election this November.

As of the time of publication, Pate had taken 56.72 percent of the statewide vote, while Gerald Dial garnered 43.28 percent.

Chambers County voters, however, favored Dial Tuesday, giving him more than half of the vote, with 60 percent. Pate received only 40 percent in the county, but went on to win overall in the state.

Since no Democrat filed to run, Pate is expected to take the position come the general election in November. This comes after the June 5 primary in which Dial garnered 30 percent of the general vote compared to Pate’s 40.4 percent.

The campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries turned sour in the days before votes were cast. In a campaign ad, Dial’s campaign referenced a divorce petition filed by Carolyn Pate, Rick Pate’s wife at the time, in 1986. The petition states that “the wife avers that the husband has committed actual violence to her person and from his manner and conduct to her, she is reasonable convinced that he will commit further violence upon her person,” according to the Decatur Daily.

“He’s trying to stir something up because he’s desperate,” Pate said of Dial to the same publication. “He’s been mailing this out for a couple of months.”

Pate is a farmer, the owner and operator of Pate Landscape and has been mayor of Lowndesboro, Alabama since 1997. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Lowndes County Republican Party, member of Rotary International, The Associated General Contractors, The Alabama Agribusiness Council and several other professional and civic organizations.