Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, reports solid fundraising numbers and does not have an opponent in sight as the 2020 election cycle is drawing near.
The situation was much more dire coming into the 2018 election. Roby looked then like the most vulnerable member of Alabama’s congressional delegation. Her denunciation of President Donald Trump in the 2016 election for sexist comments on a video almost a decade earlier had earned her the wrath of Trump supporters. Conservatives like former Roy Moore campaign manager Rich Hobson, Tommy Amason and former State Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, were challenging Roby in the GOP Primary.
She was also facing a challenge from her predecessor, former Congressman and Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, who had switched to the Republican Party and was challenging her for GOP moderates in the Republican Primary. Roby had narrowly unseated Bright, then a conservative Democrat, in the 2010 General Election.
In the 2018 election cycle, a revitalized Democratic Party had scoured the map to find vulnerable Republican House seats so they could retake control of the House of Representatives. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was targeting Roby’s seat as a possible Democratic pickup. Two Democrats, Tabitha Isner and Audri Scott Williams, were campaigning to take Roby’s place in Congress.
Roby’s fourth term in Congress was undoubtedly her most challenging. Roby mended fences with the Trump White House and appealed to Right to Life and conservative groups in Washington as well as to the Alabama Farmer’s Federation and Business Council of Alabama for help. In the five-way primary, the three conservative challengers failed to make the Republican runoff. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence then endorsed Roby over Bright. Roby went on to decisively beat Bright in the runoff and Isner in the general election.
Roby reported receipts of $216,272.50 in the first half of this year. She reported expenditures of $138,794.85, leaving her with a cash balance of $419,160.66 coming into July.
Roby reported $216,272.50 in total contributions. Roby received $53,775 in contributions from individuals and $161,500 from committees’ contributions.
Roby has received no money from Republican Party committees as the party does not get involved in Republican primaries.
Martha Roby has 41 itemized contributions from individuals ranging in size from $2,800 to $250. 29 are from out of state, and 12 are from Alabama. Charles Schwab from San Francisco, California has made two $2,800 contributions to Roby’s campaign. Schwab is the Chairman of the Charles Schwab Corporation. Randy Kendrick of Paradise Valley, Arizona has made two $2,800 contributions to Roby. Kendrick is the managing partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a Major League Baseball team. Earl Kendrick of Paradise Valley, Arizona has made two $2,800 contributions to Roby. Kendrick is a part-owner of the Diamondbacks baseball team. Ray Hunt of Dallas, Texas has made two $2,800 contribution to Roby. Hunt is an executive with Hunt Consolidated. Joseph Gibson of Washington D.C. has made a $2,800 and a $2,200 contribution to Roby. Gibson is an executive with the Gibson Group.
Roby has received 84 contributions from other committees ranging in size from $5,000 to $500. The largest of these are: the Protective Life Corporation Federal PAC – $5,000, Delloitte PAC – $5000, The Caterpillar Inc. PAC – $5,000, American Bankers Association PAC – $5,000, Value in Electing Women PAC – $5,000, United Parcel Service Inc. PAC – $5,000, International Paper PAC – $5,000, E-PAC – $5,000, L3Harris Technologies Inc. PAC – $3,000, and Comcast Corporation & NBCUniversal PAC – $3,000.
Roby’s campaign made no loans. The campaign reported $997.50 in offsets to operating expenses.
There is no Democratic or Republican challenger who has filed papers with the Federal Elections Committee. Isner is running for chairwoman of the Alabama Democratic Party. Rich Hobson is now working as the administrative director of the Alabama Court System.
The Alabama Political Reporter is not getting any of the flow of attacks on Roby from Democratic Congressional groups that we were getting in the 2018 election cycle.
Republicans gained control of the Second Congressional District in 1964, with the election of William Dickinson who held the seat for 14 terms. Republican Terry Everett held the seat for eight terms. When he retired, Bright defeated state Rep. Jay Love for the open seat. Roby defeated Bright in 2010.