On November 2, 2010, McMillan defeated Democrat Glen Zorn for the post of Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries. McMillan received 862,901 votes to Zorn’s 583,255. This time around, he ran unopposed in the Republican primary and faces Democrat Doug Smith in the General Election.
McMillan served as a Baldwin County Commissioner and as an Alabama state representative (elected in 1974 and 1978) representing Baldwin and Mobile counties. While in the Alabama state legislature McMillan chaired the Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Committee and was selected twice as the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s “Conservation Legislator of the Year.”
McMillan served as the Alabama State Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources in the first administration of Gov. Fob James (1980–1983). As Commissioner, McMillan won widespread praise for his part in the creation of the Alabama Trust Fund (originally called the Alabama Heritage Trust Fund), a plan to save the receipts from leases of offshore oil operations. Additionally, McMillan spearheaded the rebuilding of Gulf State Park after the widespread destruction of Hurricane Fredrick.
McMillan is the former executive vice president (1985–2006) of the Alabama Forestry Association where he was a leader in the successful fight to defeat the Amendment One Tax Increase of 2003 and became known as an advocate for the rights of property owners and a consistent opponent of property tax increases.
McMillan was named to the Alabama State Personnel Board by Governor James during the 1990s and reappointed to a second term by Governor Bob Riley. On the State Personnel Board McMillan has played a leading role in investigating alleged “kickbacks” to state employee union bosses.
John McMillan is a native of rural Stockton, Alabama, where he worked as a boy (and as a young man after returning from college) on his uncle’s farm and in his father’s sawmill. McMillan is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis.
McMillan and his wife Kathryn have two grown sons, Murphy and William, and two grandchildren. McMillan is an avid outdoorsman who won the Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt in 2006. He is known as a dedicated hunter of deer and wild turkey, and other Alabama game, and also enjoys fishing with his family.