On Friday, Congresswoman Marty Roby, R-Montgomery, announced that she would not run for a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The news was a shock to many in Alabama political circles. Roby had no announced opponent and appeared to be headed toward a less intense re-election effort than in 2018 or 2016. Speculation immediately began on the candidates that might run for an open Second Congressional District.
Sunday former State Representative Perry O. Hooper Jr., R-Montgomery, has confirmed to the Alabama Political Reporter that he is actively exploring running for the seat. Hooper said that Roby has done a great job in Congress for Alabama and the people of the 2nd Congressional District.
“Martha Roby has been an Awesome Congressman,” Hooper said. “Martha has been out front building up Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter and Fort Rucker. Martha lead Alabama to get the F-35 fighter jet to Montgomery. She has stood strong with our veterans. Martha was tough on President Obama during the Benghazi Hearings and just recently questioned Special Prosecutor Mueller on conducting a witch hunt. Everybody loves Martha, her family and her Mom and Dad.”
“I really hate to see her decide not to run for re-election,” Hooper said. “She has built up a lot of seniority and respect. I also understand family and what it means to being with your son playing football or your daughter cheering as a cheerleader. Martha is entering those fun times.”
Hooper acknowledged that he does have interest in running for the seat and told APR that he is traveling to Washington D.C. for meetings this week with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, as well as other members of the House and Senate Republican leadership about the suddenly open congressional seat,
“I have had a lot of people call me about running,” Hooper said. “My first priority is to help President Trump get re-elected.”
Hooper is a member of the Trump National Trump/Victory Committee. He is also a member of the Alabama State Republican Executive Committee. He was Trump Victory Chair in the 2016 election and was one of the earliest endorsers of Trump in the state.
“I would love serving the wonderful people of the 2nd Congressional District and I would love helping the President implement the rest of the Trump Agenda – meaningful immigration reform, affordable healthcare and infrastructure,” Hooper said. “The military is extremely important to Montgomery, Alabama and America and that would be a huge priority for me. I share the same philosophy as my Dad, President Reagan and President Trump- Peace through Strength. I plan to be in DC on Monday and Tuesday to talk with the House and Senate Leadership. I will also try to talk to Ronna McDaniel.”
Perry’s father, the deceased Perry Hooper Sr., was the first Republican to win the position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court since Reconstruction. Today Republicans hold every appellate court seat in the state.
Other Republicans reportedly considering running for the seat include State Senator Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville, State Representative Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, State Representative Wes Allen, R-Troy, and former Alabama Attorney General Troy King.
Hooper said that the most important thing for the country is re-electing Donald Trump as President of the United States and he would not run for Congress if he or the President feels that it may in any way hurt the President’s finance efforts.
Roby had no announced Democratic challenger, but that will almost certainly change now that the Second Congressional District is an open seat.
Roby defeated Tabitha Isner in the 2018 general election.
In 2018, 2016, and 2014 every member of the Alabama congressional delegation was re-elected easily. In 2020 at least two of the seven races will be open. Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, is not seeking another term in the First Congressional District, to run for U.S. Senate.
The major party primaries will be on March 3.