Alabama Senate Race Heats Up: Dial vs. Benefield - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

East Alabama

Alabama Senate Race Heats Up: Dial vs. Benefield

Randolph County Circuit Court Clerk Kim Benefield is busy trying to unseat an east Alabama institution: District 13 State Senator Gerald Dial. She said Dial's forgotten the interests of his district.

"He's been in Montgomery so long, he should be a Montgomery senator as opposed to an east Alabama senator," said Benefield.

Dial disagrees, saying his 23 years of experience make him more qualified for another term.

"I think some years is an advantage. You wouldn't send in a rookie quarterback if the score was tied," said Dial.

The two also disagree on a lending bill.

"He was the sponsor for the bill that allowed payday loan companies to come into Alabama and charge up to 450 percent interest. That's wrong," said Benefield.

"It took the loan sharks off the street. It made them do two things: It made them register with the banking commission, and it put a limit that they could only charge 17.5 percent interest," Dial said.

Benefield said Dial voted against a rural development center that would help people in the less-populated areas of the state.

"It would pool resources, and it would give rural Alabamians a resource center as far as bringing in ways to market their products," Benefield said.

However, Dial said he's doing everything he can to help his district.

"I have brought industry. The job market in my area is the best it's ever been. Mrs. Benefield has been in the courthouse too long to know what developing rural Alabama is all about," he said.

Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday to vote in this race and many others. We'll have complete coverage and results for you. You can also check here at WTVM.com for up-to-the-minute returns.

--Written by: Brock Parker

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