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Isner criticizes Roby for lack of public events

Monday, Democratic congressional candidate Tabitha Isner announced that she posted a video on Facebook on August 9 criticizing her opponent, incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, for not being present in the district.

In the video, Isner “does a Martha Roby impression” by disappearing. The caption on the video was “Martha Roby hasn’t had a town hall since 2013… That’s quite a disappearing act!”

While visiting the Alabama Cattlemen’s popular “Mooseum” in Montgomery, Roby was confronted by reporters about the video. She was asked to comment on Isner’s statement. Her response was to claim that “there are many ways to meet with constituents.”

The Isner Campaign has responded by releasing another video, detailing the multitudes of ways Isner has been in the district meeting with constituents since last October. The video ends with a challenge to a debate and town hall to Roby and her team.

Isner’s campaign claims that Congresswoman Roby’s team has already rejected two separate invitations to a candidate debate with Isner. One of these debate invitations was from the College Democrats on Troy University’s campus. The other debate invitation came from the Isner campaign itself.

Isner said that she will continue to challenge Martha Roby to participate in public discourse and to be present for her constituents.

“Constituents are rightly disappointed with their current representation,” said Isner. “Alabamians shouldn’t have to settle for poor leadership. We deserve a Representative who is present in the district, who hosts at least four town halls a year, and who takes seriously the needs and perspective of the district. This district is 10,000 square miles. There is no way to know its needs and struggles without showing up to listen.”

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While she has not debated Isner, Roby said Monday in an email to her constituents that she has been very busy month traveling throughout the Second District.

Congresswoman Martha Roby visited Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic where she talked with staff and received a briefing on the Clinicom technology that is used to diagnose mental illness. Rep, Roby visited with the West End Boys and Girls Club in Montgomery. Roby toured the facility and had the chance to stop by the Smart Girls Group and other classes. Roby said that she met with Jay Moseley, Teresa Collier, and John Hamm of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Fusion Center. They updated the Congresswoman on the human trafficking problem in Alabama and their efforts to eradicate human trafficking in the state. Roby visited Common Ground Ministries’ Mercy House where she toured the facility and helped serve lunch. Roby was in Hope Hull at the Army Aviation support facility for a briefing and an overview of their facility. There Roby met with General Gordon, Colonel Bass, and others. Roby also spoke to the Squadron Officer School at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base where she participated in a conversation about leadership qualities. Roby spoke to the American Society of Civil Engineers during their monthly luncheon where they discussed a number of important topics, including efforts in Congress and the Trump Administration to reinvigorate our nation’s aging infrastructure.

Isner is emphasizing her Christian faith in her campaign when talking about her policy positions. Isner’s husband is the pastor of a church in Montgomery. The couple adopted a child out of foster care in 2017. She has worked in early childhood education policy for the last nine years.

Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) has represented the Second Congressional District since 2010 when she defeated incumbent Congressman Bobby Bright (D). Roby recently defeated Bright again. This time in the Republican primary runoff on July 17.

The general election will be November 6.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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