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Hightower criticizes Carl for Washington fundraising event

Republican 1st Congressional District candidate, former State Senator Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, on Tuesday, criticized his opponent, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl, for a recent Washington fundraising event.

“Jerry’s diving headlong into the swamp with D.C. lobbyists, big-spending Republicans and Never Trumpers – he’s already ‘gone Washington’ and he hasn’t won anything yet,” Hightower said. “The choice for Alabama conservatives is clear. I was one of the most conservative state senators when I served in Montgomery and I opposed every tax increase, enraged career politicians when I brought term limits to a vote, blocked the Obamacare expansion, passed the law protecting faith-based adoptions and sponsored the Flat Tax initiative.”

The Hightower campaign claimed that the event was an attempt by Carl “to pay his mounting campaign debt and loans back.” The Hightower campaign accused Carl of “soliciting Washington D.C. lobbyists.”

The virtual event was hosted by Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, whom the Hightower campaign dismissed as “Alabama’s least conservative Republican member of Congress.” She was joined in her support for Carl by Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Saks, whom the Hightower campaign derided as a big spender.

The Hightower campaign said, “Jerry Carl is doing what he has always done: self-proclaiming he is THE conservative candidate to the locals, while he is ingratiating himself with the liberal Republicans and lobbyists in the DC swamp.”

The Hightower campaign slammed Roby for in 2016 calling Donald Trump “unacceptable as a candidate for President” and declaring, “I won’t vote for him.” The Hightower campaign claimed that “Rogers is routinely ranked among the least conservative Republicans in Congress” and stated that his lifetime conservative ranking from Club for Growth is just a 58, the lowest among Alabama Republicans.

Club for Growth has endorsed Hightower.

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“Jerry Carl has his sights set on being another big-spending career politician in Washington, but south Alabama deserves a conservative who will stand with President Trump to build the wall, defend the 2nd Amendment, drain the swamp and enact our Make America Great Again agenda,” Hightower said. “Jerry’s endorsed by the D.C. lobbyists and the never-Trumpers, but I’m proud to have the endorsement of conservative champions Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum.”

The Hightower campaign claimed that Roby raised more than $1.6 million from lobbyist directed political action committees in the 2018 election cycle and more than $44,000 directly from lobbyists according to the Center for Responsive Politics which tracks donations to members of Congress.

The Hightower campaign claims that Rogers took more than $815,000 from political action committees and more than $40,000 directly from lobbyists in 2018 and has taken in more than $500,000 so far in 2019-20.

Bill Hightower and Jerry Carl are running in the Republican Party primary runoff on Jul 14. The winner will face the winner of the Democratic Party primary runoff. There James Averhart is running against Kiani Gardner.

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

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