McMillan campaigns for state treasurer in county

Published 1:42 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan, a frequent visitor to Covington County, was in town again Tuesday.

But this time, he came to talk about his race for the state treasurer’s office.

Alabama’s constitution limits constitutional office holders to two terms; hence McMillan’s pursuit of a different office this year. He visited members of the ag community, the newspaper, was introduced at a “meet and greet” at Southern Independent Bank, and attended Rotary.

McMillan also is a former Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources, was executive vice president of Alabama Forestry Association, and is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.

He worked with then-Gov. Fob James to set up the Alabama Trust Fund, which was established to invest revenues from offshore oil and gas production.

In many ways, serving as treasurer would allow him to come full circle.

“One of things that intrigued me most (about running for treasurer) was the opportunity to come back and manage these oil and gas funds.”

In addition to being instrumental in establishing the Alabama Trust Fund, as Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources, he changed the state’s process for oil leases.

At the height of production, the leases produces in excess of $150 million in revenue annually, he said. Now, that number is about $50 million per year, and the trust fund is $1.5 billion strong.

The state treasurer’s office has 36 employees, all of whom work in Montgomery offices, compared to the 300 employees he now manages in Ag and Industries, he said.

He also wants to promote college savings plans, and a plan that allows parents to set aside monies for special needs children.

Former Speaker of the House Seth Hammett, who was with McMillan in Andalusia Tuesday, said, “I’ve known John for 40 years, and I’ve never heard a hint of any flaw in his character.”