Alabama's 2nd Congressional District
Location: Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes counties and parts of Montgomery county and Pike county.
Median income: $32,460
Ethnicity: 67% White
0.4% Native American
Presidential election results:
2000: George W. Bush 61% Al Gore 38%
2004: George W. Bush 67% John Kerry 33%
2008: John McCain 63% Barack Obama 36%
2012: Mitt Romney 63% Barack Obama 36%
Current Representative: Martha Roby (R) (2011-present)
In 2008, Bobby Bright (D) won the Congressional election against Jay Love (R) 50.31% to 49.69%. In 2010, Martha Roby defeated Bobby Bright 51.10% to 48.90%. In 2012, Rep. Martha Roby defeated the Democratic challenger, Therese Ford 63.6% to 36.3%. Roby sits on the House Committee on the Armed Services, House Committee on Agriculture, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Looking at the Presidential elections and the past results of the district, indicate that this is a very Conservative district. So how did Bobby Bright fare so well in the district?
Bright was elected mayor of Montgomery in 1999 and was re-elected in 2003. He declined to state a political party but before the 2008 election he signed on as a member of the Democratic party. He is a pro-life Democrat who is a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment. He was rated by the National Journal as the most conservative Democrat in the 111th Congress. Bright was a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition. He voted with House leadership 71% of the time which made him the 2nd most Conservative Democrat in the House Democrat Caucus. He voted against the Senate approved Obamacare bill but did vote in favor of "cash for clunkers". He also did not sign on to the petition asking for a complete repeal of the Obamacare bill.
In the 2010 election, Martha Roby attacked Bright by lumping him with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Bright publicly announced that he would not vote for Pelosi again for Speaker. But the damage was done. Bright tried to paint himself as an independent and conservative voice in the House. But Roby's campaign did a masterful job in putting him in the same corner as House leadership. The 2010 election was famous for the Tea Party wave and Alabama's 2nd Congressional District was also affected. She was endorsed by both Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. In one of the more expensive races in the country, Roby's campaign spent more than $1 million defeating Bobby Bright by a mere 4,000 votes.
Without a strong Democratic candidate in the 2012 election, Roby was able to handily win the election by nearly 30 points over
Roby was elected to the Montgomery City Council in 2003. While there, she opposed the building of a mall in East Montgomery, the privatization of the disposal of household garbage, supported a 10 cent cigarette tax increase, and a state sales tax holiday. She also took a hardline stance on illegal immigration, which followed her to the House.
Roby is a very typical Conservative. She is pro-life. She voted "yea" for bill H.R. 358 and H.R. 3 that would have prohibited taxpayer money from going to abortion. She also introduced H. Con. Res. 36 which had the goal to defund Planned Parenthood. She stated that the more taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood, the more abortions they will perform. She has stated that she will not support any immigration bill that has the word amnesty in it. In 2011, Roby co-sponsored a bill that would block a wage increase for seasonal employees who often are immigrants.
Roby believes that governmental agricultural bureaucracies need to be reigned in. She believes that the Conservation Reserve Program needs to be limited and has criticized many of the actions that the Environmental Protection Agency has taken. She has voted multiple times to repeal Obamacare and she even voted in support of the Paul Ryan budget plan. The criticisms of this plan can be found on this blog, elsewhere. Roby does not support any defense spending cuts, focusing only on non-defense spending cuts. She also voted "nay" on the removal of American troops from Afghanistan.
Alabama's 2nd Congressional district is likely to stay Republican for a long time. The district tends to elect members of Congress for a long period of time. Roby is a strong enough Republican to stay elected for as long as she wants. It would take a Southern Democrat, like a Bobby Bright, to unseat her. Even then, it would have to be a particularly strong candidate like Bright to succeed. Bright's biggest fortune that he had was that he was running in a seat that was being vacated by the incumbent. If Bright was running against an incumbent, it seems likely he would not have won.