New Ala. gov., Ag Comissioner Hire Ex-Opponents

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's new Republican governor and agriculture commissioner have hired the Democrats that they beat in

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Wednesday that he has appointed former Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks to direct the new Alabama Rural Development Office.

Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan has retained former Democratic opponent Glen Zorn as assistant commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Sparks said he and Bentley talked often throughout the campaign, particularly about their concerns for rural Alabama, and he wants to help Bentley make positive things happen in rural areas. Sparks said the new governor wants him to focus initially on health care, jobs and education issues.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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