By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Former Democratic State Representative Bill Fuller has been certified by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office for the November ballot in Senate District 13. Bill Fuller is a former four term State Representative and LaFayette attorney.
The Secretary of State has certified former Representative Fuller’s voter signature petitions for the six-county district covering Chambers, Randolph and Cleburne Counties, and portions of Lee, Clay and Cherokee Counties.
Rep. Fuller (a former Democrat) said in a written statement, “I’m running as an Independent because political parties are the problem in Alabama and in Washington. I believe the voters of District 13 are highly intelligent, independent folks of deep personal faith, who are sick and tired of shenanigans and back room deals in the Alabama Senate.”
Fuller has pledged to run a completely positive and “mud-free” campaign focused on the issues important to Senate District 13. The issues that Fuller pledged to focus on in if elected to the Alabama Senate include: allowing a statewide public vote on Medicaid expansion; developing a strategic jobs growth plan for District 13; and focusing on public safety and justice, including adequate funding for the State court system and forensic sciences.
Fuller said that he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and opposes any proposals to track or restrict gun ownership. Fuller also opposes both charter schools and the controversial new Common Core standards for Alabama public schools. Fuller, who served five terms in the Alabama House of Representatives, supports both term limits for state legislators and pledges to sponsor a bill that would allow voters to recall elected officials during their terms.
During his time in the Alabama House of Representatives, representing Chambers and Lee Counties, Rep. Fuller served as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee for both the Education and General Fund Budgets, and as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Fuller has served as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Human Resources under both Democratic and Republican Governors. Rep. Fuller recently served as the Executive Director of the nonprofit Alabama Family Trust and as legal counsel for United Cerebral Palsy as well as several other disability advocacy organizations.
Rep. Fuller currently has a private law practice in his hometown of LaFayette, where he focuses on elder law, Veteran’s benefits, disability law and mental health law. Fuller ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives against incumbent Rep. Mike Rogers (R) from Saks in the 2004 election as a Democrat.
Fuller is 60 and lives in White Plains in Chambers County. He is a 1971 graduate of LaFayette High School. He attended Southern Union State Community College in Wadley and graduated from Auburn University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. Rep. Fuller received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in 1981. Fuller is an active member of the Alabama State Bar and numerous legal associations,
Fuller is running against incumbent Republican state Senator Gerald Dial from Lineville who just emerged victorious from a fierce primary challenge by Cleburne County Republican Party Chairman Tim Sprayberry. Sen. Dial bested Chairman Sprayberry in the June 3 Republican Primary by just 423 votes.
Gerald Dial grew up in Delta, Alabama, graduated from Lineville High School and has received degrees from Livingston University and Jacksonville State University. Shortly after graduating from high school, Senator Dial attended basic training for the United States Army and became a member of the Alabama National Guard. In 1961, he married Faye Bonner Dial. Mrs. Dial is a retired schoolteacher and counselor. Gerald Dial spent nearly 38 years in the military. At the time of his retirement in 1997, he had achieved the post of Assistant Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard. In 1972, Senator Dial served two years on the Lineville City Council. He was elected in 1974 to the Alabama House of Representatives and was elected to the Senate in 1983. In 2010 Dial was elected to the state Senate as a Republican.
Dial has been a teacher and coach at Lineville High School and in recent decades has been a small business owner and a real estate developer. In March 2007, he was appointed by Governor Bob Riley (R) to serve as the Executive Director of the Alabama Rural Action Commission, a position he held until May. Dial and Faye still live in Lineville. The Dials have two children: Melanie and Jason, and are members of Lineville Baptist Church.
Fuller (i) joins Sen. Dial (R) and a Democrat, Darrell Turner, on the General Election ballot. Darrell Turner is the Chairman of the Cleburne County Democratic Party.
Turner said in a statement on Facebook, “Turner for Alabama Senate District 13 is more than a campaign announcement. I offer East Alabama a fresh start. I am committed to improving transparency in the halls of the Alabama Senate. The first thing we must do is insist that business behind closed doors is finished at the Alabama state house. And we must absolutely hold our legislators accountable for ethics violations and inappropriate use of their offices. The culture of corruption in Montgomery must come to an end if we are to ever have better government for the people. We the people deserve better government, and together, we can make it better.”
Turner was born and raised in Cleburne County, Alabama, where he still lives with his wife, Bonnie, and son, Bradley. Turner is a Cleburne County High School graduate and studied political science and history at the University of South Carolina and Jacksonville State University. Turner later went to George Meany Labor College to study labor management and organizing and pipe welding and fabrication at Aiken Technical College. Turner has been affiliated with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters of the United States and Canada since 1968.
The General Election is November 4.