Alabama voters go to the polls today to decide who they want to represent them in the coming years. Every two years, Americans vote on who they want to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives. The most-watched congressional race in the state is the 2nd Congressional District.
Incumbent Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, is seeking her fifth term in the Congress but faces a host of challengers
Roby has been popular in Washington and has risen steadily in ranks of the House Republican Caucus. She has a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee where she sits on the: defense; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittees. Roby also serves on the House Judiciary Committee and sits on the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee.
Roby is a member of the: Congressional Army Aviation Caucus (Co-Chair), the Congressional Peanut Caucus (Co-Chair), the Congressional Defense Communities Caucus (Co-Chair), the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, the Congressional Air Force Caucus, the House Army Caucus, the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Caucus, the Civil Air Patrol Congressional Squadron, the Honorary Co-Chair of The Global Women’s Innovation Network (GlobalWIN), the House National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Caucus, the House Values Action Team, the USO Congressional Caucus, the Caucus for Women’s Issues, the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, the Veterans’ Jobs Caucus, the Mobility Air Force Caucus, and the Fire Services Caucus.
Roby has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Family Research Council, the Business Council of Alabama, and the pro=Life Susan B Anthony List. Despite all of this, she is in what appears to be the toughest election she has faced since she narrowly defeated incumbent Bobby Bright, D-Montgomery, in 2010.
Some conservatives have criticized Roby for being too supportive of Speakers of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.
In 2016 she condemned GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and withdrew her endorsement after a video surface from 11 years prior in which Trump jokingly referred to grabbing women by their private parts and doing whatever he wanted to do.
Since Trump’s election, Roby has worked hard to mend fences with the Trump administration and conservative voters; but many candidates have lined up to try to unseat the congresswoman.
“The Republican tax cuts are working,” Roby said. “But Nancy Pelosi and other Washington Democrats have pledged to raise taxes. I won’t let that happen.” I’m proud of my conservative record, and I’m humbly asking you to consider supporting me in the Republican Primary election tomorrow. Our work for the conservative cause is far from being complete, and I stand ready to continue the fight for our shared priorities.”
Roby is being challenged in the GOP primary by state Representative Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, former Roy Moore aide and former chief administrator of the Alabama Courts Rich Hobson, retired Army Sergeant Major Tommy Amason and Congressman Bright who has now switched to the Republican Party.
Moore said, “Voters in District 2 have a clear choice. I have been a life-long Republican, a strong conservative and the first elected official in the nation to endorse Donald Trump.”
“I am very conservative and always have been,” said Hobson. “My stance on every issue from the sanctity of life and marriage to national defense to fiscal policies and everything in between is strongly conservative, and I believe that reflects the voters of District 2. If given the privilege of representing my fellow citizens in Congress, I will not allow the D.C. Swamp to weaken my conservative convictions. Our national security and the future of our republic are too important to do otherwise.”
“As we enter the final hours, Lynn and I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the citizens of Congressional District 2 for your tremendous encouragement and support,” Bright said. “Traveling throughout the District during this campaign reassured us that people are ready for a change. I pledge to remain connected to you, the people, and not the DC power brokers and lobbyists. I want District 2 to once again have representation on the House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees to protect our veterans, farmers and military bases. I’m ready to serve and humbly ask for your vote in tomorrow’s Republican Primary. Together, we can Make District 2 Bright Again!!!”
“To be clear, my loyalty is to God,” Amason said. “After that, I will be a force behind our President, on a daily basis, fighting for America while focused on the people of Alabama.”
The eventual winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election on November 6.
Democrats have targeted the Second congressional District as a possible pickup. Tabitha Isner and Audri Scott Williams are running in the Democratic primary.
Congressman Mo Brook, R-Huntsville, and Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, also have primary challengers. Clayton Hinchman is running against Brooks; while Anthony Blackmon is running against Aderholt.
Polls open at 7:00 a.m. today and close at 7:00 p.m.
Alabama Democrats: Tuberville doesn’t have a plan or experience
The Alabama Democratic Party on Wednesday released a statement slamming Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville for not commenting on Hurricane Sally.
Tuberville is challenging U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, in the Nov. 3 general election.
“Tommy Tuberville said he didn’t have a clue how to address the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, so it isn’t surprising that he hasn’t offered a single word for the Gulf Coast in the face of a life-threatening storm,” said Wade Perry, the executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party. “He doesn’t have a plan or the experience to tackle an actual crisis. Unlike our own U.S. Senator Doug Jones.”
The Jones campaign has seized on the “Tommy Tuberville does not have a clue” narrative, trying to make the argument that Tuberville, a career football coach who has never held a public office before, lacks the experience necessary to represent the people of Alabama in the U.S. Senate.
Jones used that line several times at a Labor Day appearance in Leeds.
“Senator Jones was on the ground in Lee County after devastating tornadoes and worked across party lines to secure emergency relief for farmers and families in the Wiregrass,” Perry said. “He will always be there to help Alabamians navigate a crisis and save lives— he always has, and always will.”
The Tuberville campaign disputed the ADP narrative.
Hurricane Sally devastated Dauphin Island in Mobile County as well as Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan in coastal Baldwin County when it came ashore as a category two hurricane with 105 miles per hour winds.
Sally then inundated South Alabama, West Florida and Georgia with heavy rain, leading to localized flooding. Several roads were closed on Thursday across South Alabama due to flooding including in Troy, Andalusia and Opp.
Almost 200,000 Alabama homes lost power due to the storm. Alabama Power crews are still working to restore power to customers who lost power.
Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore in a 2017 special election. This was the only time that a Democratic candidate had won any statewide race in Alabama since 2008.
Jones and his allies led an effort to topple the then-existing leadership of the Alabama Democratic Party in 2019. The new chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, State Rep. Christopher England, D-Tuscaloosa, is trying to make the case that times have changed and the state has two viable political parties.
Republicans are targeting Jones, a Democratic senator representing a very red state. Democrats are hopeful that they can hold Jones’ seat and take control of the U.S. Senate.
Secretary of State extends absentee voting for Senate District 26 special election
Secretary of State John Merrill has officially extended the opportunity for anyone concerned about COVID-19 to apply for and cast an absentee ballot for the Senate District 26 special election.
The special primary election for Senate District 26 will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 17. If necessary, a runoff election will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15. The general election will be held on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual.
State law allows the secretary of state to issue absentee voting guidance during declared states of emergency, allowing Merrill to encourage voters to check the box which reads, “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]” unless another box applies.
For the Nov. 17 primary election, the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Thursday, Nov. 12. If delivered by hand, absentee ballots must be returned by Monday, Nov. 16. If delivered by mail, absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 16.
Inaugural Alabama Works innovator awards presented
The inaugural AlabamaWorks! Innovator Awards were presented by Gov. Kay Ivey and Deputy Director of Commerce Ed Castile Thursday during the AlabamaWorks! Virtual Conference.
The awards were developed to highlight people and programs across the state that take an innovative approach to solving workforce challenges and help advance Ivey’s Success Plus attainment goal of adding 500,000 highly skilled workers by 2025.
At the time of the inception of the awards, Alabama was unaware of the impact COVID-19 would have on the workforce and although the attainment goal has not changed, our economic and workforce recovery post-COVID-19 will hinge on innovators like those recognized.
“The workforce challenges that we face today are not the same ones that we faced six months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has completely reshaped the workforce landscape,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “The State of Alabama is relying on those who are leading the charge by implementing innovative solutions in their cities, counties and regions to further economic and workforce development.”
The recipients are visionaries, outside-of-the-box thinkers and problem solvers. The programs test boundaries, explore new opportunities and reach deeper to bring about change. “It is important to recognize these leaders of innovation and to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the citizens, communities and industries of Alabama,” said Ed Castile, deputy director of commerce and AIDT director. “Their innovative approach to workforce development will be key to opening doors, breaking barriers and propelling Alabamians forward.”
The recipients of the first-ever AlabamaWorks Innovator Awards are as follows:
Region 1 – North AlabamaWorks – Beth Brumley, Colbert County Schools
Beth Brumley built the Health Science Program for Colbert County Schools from the ground up by using her experience in the healthcare field to provide critical, real-world skills to her students. She developed key relationships within the healthcare community to provide her students enhanced learning opportunities and exposure, which resulted in increased demand for program graduates. Beth was also named the 2020 National New Teacher of the Year through the Association for Career and Technical Education. By bridging the gap between education and employer, Beth has created a formula for success that positively impacts the workforce.
Region 2 – East AlabamaWorks – The Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement (SAFE)
SAFE has been a model for supportive services to empower individuals and families while fostering positive and healthy development of the community for nearly 25 years. In their program, SAFE combines occupational and employability skills to help job seekers be ready to enter the workforce regardless of barriers they may have faced in the past. Their dedication to providing practical solutions to modern problems is a testament to their heart for service and passion for helping their community and region.
Region 3 – West AlabamaWorks – Dr. Mike Daria, Superintendent Tuscaloosa City Schools
Dr. Daria has played a crucial role in the success of West Alabama’s workforce development by fostering important relationships between industry and education. His leadership has focused on increased Career Technical Education (CTE) enrollment, supporting local Worlds of Work events and the Educator Workforce Academy. Dr. Daria’s emphasis on the importance of identifying career pathways for the students in his district and then providing viable opportunities for students to take those paths, make him invaluable to West Alabama.
Region 4 – Central Six AlabamaWorks – Ed Farm
Ed Farm is the signature program of TechAlabama that focuses on encouraging children and adults to discover and pursue STEM careers. Ed Farm has a vision for a world full of invention, led by citizens who have been equipped with the necessary tools to fill or create the careers of the future. Through equipping educators and communities with innovative tools, strategies and programs they are able to support active learning for all students. With three signature tracks, Ed Farm is poised to help increase educational equity and improve learning outcomes through technology all while preparing the future tech workforce.
Region 5 – Central AlabamaWorks – Tiger Mochas, Auburn City Schools
Tiger Mochas is a collaborative effort between special education students, FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) members and peer volunteers at Auburn High School. This student-led organization is serving up a lot more than hot cups of coffee to their peers because through their work, students are provided meaningful, hands-on work experience that teaches important functional, social and daily living skills. Graduates of the program leave with not only work and employability skills, but in-demand soft skills that will help them succeed in life and work.
Region 6 – Southeast AlabamaWorks – WeeCat Industries
WeeCat Industries uses a simulated workplace model to meet the growing demand for a skilled workforce. WeeCat saw an opportunity to begin teaching work ethics and employability skills as early as preschool, and rose to the challenge. Their students clock into work, run an assembly line, fill orders, check invoices, meet production quota, interview for new positions and implement quality control all while earning a “paycheck” to be spent at the WeeCat Store before they can even spell the word “school”. WeeCat Industries places invaluable skills at a crucial age in development which will shape the future of the workforce.
Region 7 – SAWDC AlabamaWorks – Ed Bushaw
Ed Bushaw with the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce researched and developed initiatives to address the region’s workforce supply to meet the needs of the growing hospitality and tourism industry in his region. His collaborative efforts with business and industry officials resulted in the development of the first Hospitality and Tourism registered apprenticeship program in Alabama. Apprentices receive classroom instruction as well as valuable real-world experience within the hospitality and tourism industry and finish the program with a credential that can be used to advance their career. Ed’s ability to adapt to the needs of industry and implement programs that address those needs are vital to the continued success of southwest Alabama.
Jones gets “F” rating from anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is criticizing Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, for receiving an “F” rating this week from the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion rights group that supports candidates who oppose abortion.
The organization gave Jones a failing grade because they said that Jones has voted against almost every “critical piece of pro-life legislation” offered in the Senate since he took office.
“Anti-Trump Democrat Doug Jones’ pro-abortion record and opposition to pro-life legislation shows just how blatantly he disregards the values of Alabamians,” said NRSC spokesperson Paige Lindgren. “Alabama deserves a Senator that is a vocal supporter of the pro-life movement and willing to stand up for their conservative values in Congress.”
Lungren added that, “In February, Jones laughed when asked if he would support the Pain Capable Protection Act, a bill that would ban late-term abortions. He later voted NO on the same bill when it came to the Senate floor.”
The Republican candidate challenging Jones, former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, has been endorsed by National Right to Life.
“National Right to Life is pleased to endorse Tommy Tuberville for election to the U.S. Senate,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “Tommy Tuberville supports compassionate proposals to safeguard unborn children and their mothers from the pain of abortion.”
The voters of Alabama in 2018 voted to outlaw abortions in the state in an amendment to the state constitution, and the state Legislature in 2019 essentially outlawed abortions. However, federal law and Supreme Court precedent make those measures unenforceable.
“Tommy Tuberville will work to ensure all innocent human life is protected and he is committed to strengthening a culture of life throughout the nation and in the U.S. Senate,” said Tobias. “As a coach, Tommy Tuberville knows the hard work that goes into achieving victory and we look forward to working with him to win greater protections for the most vulnerable in our society.”
Tuberville is a former Auburn University head football coach. He has coached the University of Mississippi, Texas Tech University and the University of Cincinnati.
Jones is a former U.S. attorney. He has had many years in private practice as an attorney. After law school, Jones was an aide to then-U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin, D-Alabama.
Jones defeated former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in a December 2017 special election.
The Alabama Senate race is the closest-watched race in the state in the Nov. 3 general election.