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A Sit Down With Bobby Bright - Candidate For 2nd Congressional District

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
rstokes1450@gmail.com
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Date: May 14 2018 1:10 PM


Bobby Neal Bright Sr was in Dothan – Houston County this past week and sit down with RSN to talk about the 2nd Congressional Race on June 5.


Bobby Bright is a Republican Candidate for the 2nd Congressional Race. A seat currently heald by Martha Roby and once held by Bobby Bright.


BOBBY NEAL BRIGHT, Sr.  is an American, former lawyer and politician who served as is the former Mayor of Montgomery.


Following a meeting with the then Governor of Alabama, a Republican, he was told there was not enough room on the ballot.


His drive to get to Washington to help the people of the 2nd District led him to run and eventually be elected as the U.S. Representativefor Alabama's 2nd congressional district. He served the people of Alabama's 2nd congressional district as a Blue-Dog Democrat from 2009 to 2011, as a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes just over half of the state capital, Montgomery, as well as most of the Wiregrass Region in the southeastern part of the state. Bright is the first Mayor of Montgomery to be elected to Congress.


 In November 2010, he was defeated for a second term in the U.S. House by Republican nominee Martha Roby, a Montgomery City Council member. In 2010 Bright switched to the Republican Party.


Bright was born in Midland City, Alabama and grew up on one of the cotton farms that were typical of the Wiregrass Region.[1] 


After spending his youth working on the farm and graduating from high school, he took a job in metalworking to save up money for college.


 He later graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in political science in 1975 and took a job as an auditor before earning an M.S. in criminal justice from Troy State University in 1977 and beginning a career as a corrections officer.


While working in the prison system, he was deeply affected by the many young people he saw entering the penitentiaries and decided to transition into law practice as a result.[2] Bright received his Juris Doctor from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University in 1982. He practiced law for fifteen years before entering into politics.


Bright was first elected in 1999, defeating longtime incumbent Republican Emory Folmar. He was re-elected in a landslide against challenger Scott Simmons in 2003.


During Bright's tenure he revitalized Montgomery's downtown and riverfront including the Renaissance Montgomery complex and Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium.


 He helped bring new jobs to the area, and saved existing jobs. He was also named the state's "Tourism Advocate of the Year" by the Governor for his work in building that industry.


On the financial side, he balanced the City's budget every year and created a $30 million rainy day fund, secured millions in federal grants for important projects, maintained the city's "AA" credit rating (best in state) by holding spending and debt in check, and saved money by implementing an international prescription drug buying program.[3][4][5]


Bright had never previously claimed affiliation with any party, but in 2008 he announced that he was running as a Democrat for the open seat in the 2nd District. The district's eight-term incumbent, Republican Terry Everett, was not running for reelection.[6]


Like many Alabama Democrats, he opposes abortion and gun control. However, he favors "a strong, honorable plan" to end the Iraq War.[7]


Bright was considered the strongest Democrat to run in a district that had been in Republican hands since 1965. With the strong support of the state and national Democratic establishment, Bright easily won the Democratic nomination against two minor challengers. He faced Republican State Representative Jay Love in the November election. Both Bright and Love are deacons at First Baptist Church in Montgomery.[8] Bright received the endorsement of bitter Republican primary loser State Senator Harri Anne Smith, whom Love had defeated by six points in the primary.[9]


Just before the election, CQ PoliticsThe Cook Political Report and The Rothenberg Political Report rated the race a toss-up, with neither candidate a clear favorite over the other.[10][11][12] In the November election, Bright received 143,997 votes to Love's 142,231 votes—a margin of 1,766 votes, or just over 0.6 percentage points. While the two candidates each won eight of the district's 16 counties, Bright won the district's share of Montgomery County by 30 points. Love had the option of requesting a recount since the margin of victory was less than a point, but opted not to do so and conceded the seat to Bright.[13][14] Bright's victory, and that of Parker Griffith in the 5th District, gave Alabama two white Democratic congressmen for the first time since Tom Bevill and Glen Browder left the House in 1997. He also represented the fourth most Republican district in the nation to be represented by a Democrat; it has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+16, and gave John McCain 63 percent of the vote in 2008.


The 2nd traditionally gives its congressmen very long tenures in Washington. Bright was only the seventh person to represent it in over a century, and the fifth since 1921. Bright's 2008 campaign was endorsed by Democrats for Life of America.[15]


2010


Bright was unopposed in the 2010 Democratic primary. Republican Montgomery city council member Martha Roby decisively beat Tea Party favorite and former Marine Rick Barber.[16] Bright ran campaign ads aimed at distancing himself from the establishment Democratic Party. In these ads, he described himself as “independent and conservative,” and emphasized his support for small business. Under fire from Roby for his support of Pelosi for Speaker of the House, Bright stated publicly that he would not vote for Pelosi for Speaker again.[17]


Tenure


During his time in Congress, Bright was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.


Bright was the second most conservative member of the House Democratic Caucus.[19]Bright voted twice against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, one of only 7 Democrats voting against the final version.[20] In February 2009, Bright voted in favor of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009.[21] In June 2009, Bright voted in favor of the Cash for Clunkers bill.[22] In July 2009, Bright voted against establishing spending caps through fiscal year 2014.[23] In November 2009, Bright voted against the House version of the Affordable Health Care for America Act.[24] In March 2010, Bright voted against the Senate version of the Affordable Health Care for America Act.[25] He has not signed a petition circulated by Iowa Republican Steve King calling for a complete repeal of the law, calling the effort "premature." [26][27] In November 2009, Bright, along with Representative Walt Minnick of Idaho, introduced House Resolution 4072. This resolution reorganized public job training funds, directing them towards flexible skills and credentials recognized by industries. Also called the American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Act (AMERICA Works), the bill was targeted at new workers just entering the workforce and servicemen and women returning to civilian life.[28]Because of his dedication to small business, Bright requested a waiver to serve on the House Small Business Committee shortly after his arrival in Washington. This committee worked to find solutions to the challenges faced by small businesses. Some of these include the cost of health care, the impact of food safety recalls, federal government regulations, and small business taxes. The first bill sponsored by Bright was intended for the benefit of small businesses. It created a bonus deprecation for the kind of large purchases made by small businesses. His legislation would eventually be included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which became law on February 17, 2009.[29]


After the defection of fellow Alabama Democrat Parker Griffith to the Republican Party in December 2009, political analyst and statistician Nate Silver suggested that Bright could follow, naming "60/40" odds that he would eventually join the Republican caucus as well.[30] The day after Griffith's party switch, Bright told media that he had no intention of switching parties and would remain a Democrat.[31]


The National Journal named Bright the most conservative Democrat during the first session of the 111th United States Congress.[32]


Committee assignments[edit]



 


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