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Dial Draws Primary Opponent

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) will face a primary opponent in the 2014 primary election for District 13. Dial has represented the district for 7 terms.

The chairman of the Cleburne County Republican Party, Tim Sprayberry, will run against Dial to take over representation of the district.

Dial will likely have a difficult time defending his record, since he served 6 of his 7 terms as a senator and 2 terms as a representative as a Democrat. He joined the Republican Party in 2009.

Many in the district, including Sprayberry, aren’t sure if Dial is a real Republican.

Several months ago, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) vowed to defend the state house against fake Republicans. He claimed to have raised $10 million (a number that cannot be verified from campaign finance disclosure forms) to protect incumbents.

Sprayberry may gain the Speaker’s support as a “real Republican,” or Dial may receive financing from Hubbard as an incumbent, despite his past as a Democrat.

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Sprayberry ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives in 2010. He says he had considered running against Dial then, but he was dissuaded by Dial’s ability to raise money.

Dial has not filed papers with the Secretary of State indicating that he has broken the $5,000 disclosure threshold.

No Democrats have declared candidacy for this senate district yet. Given Dial’s narrow margin of victory in 2010–only 357 votes, 0.97 percent of the vote–it is likely that a Democrat would be able to run a close campaign in 2014.

The qualifying deadline for the 2014 primary election is April 4.

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