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Monday, October 12, 2009

Draft Committee Wants Former State Sen. Dial to Run

Former Clay County School Superintendent Don Fulbright on Monday announced he has formed a draft committee to encourage former State Sen. Gerald Dial to seek the legislative seat he previously held.

Fulbright said in a news release that he has created the Dependable Active Intelligent Leadership Political Action Committee, known as DIAL PAC, which will be used to fund Dial’s campaign, should he decide to run. He said that Dial was not involved in the formation of the PAC.

“Since Gerald left the Senate, citizens in the district have noticed a distinct change in the level of representation we have received. That’s not meant to slight anyone, but Gerald left big shoes to fill,” Fulbright said. “With the high unemployment, economic turmoil and other issues facing our state and our area, we need Gerald’s experience and leadership in the State House now more than ever.”

Dial represented District 13 in the Alabama State Senate for 24 years before being narrowly defeated during a highly contentious 2006 party primary. He previously served two terms in the House of Representatives. State Sen. Kim Benefield, D-Woodland, now holds the seat, but has been tight-lipped about whether she will stand for re-election in 2010.

In February of 2007, Gov. Bob Riley appointed Dial to head the Rural Alabama Action Commission, a group similar to his Black Belt Commission but with a larger regional focus. Among its current projects are the Kid Check program, which is designed to improve children’s health in rural areas, and a broadband initiative working to expand high speed Internet access to all regions of the state.

Dial, a Lineville native, also has worked in real estate development and retired as the assistant adjutant general of the Alabama National Guard after 36 years of service.

“Gerald has done an outstanding job leading the Rural Action Commission and has decided to focus his energies and attention on that project at this time,” Fulbright said. “We hope that our draft committee and accompanying PAC will show him the level of support and excitement surrounding his potential candidacy and encourage him to run.”

In addition to Fulbright, several public officials and individuals in counties within the Senate district are lending their names to the draft effort. Those individuals include:

Chambers County Valley Councilman Ray Edwards, Chambers Co. GOP Chair Cary Baldwin
Clay County Ashland City Councilman Mike Beale
Cleburne County Heflin Mayor Anna Berry, Tommy Taylor
Randolph County Randolph Co. GOP Chair Bob Fincher, Dean Wysner, Jim Yarborough

As committee chairman, Fulbright will serve as the group’s spokesman, solicit funds for DIAL PAC and oversee its operations. Should Dial decide not to proceed with a candidacy, he said PAC contributions will be returned to the original donors who request while the remainder will be donated to the campaign of a like-minded candidate.

Fulbright served as superintendent of Clay County Schools from 1984 until his retirement in 2001. He previously worked as a classroom teacher and as the federal program coordinator for the Clay County Board of Education.

-- posted by Markeshia Ricks


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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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