SPOTLIGHT

The Deep South’s Party-Switching Ex-Congressmen

Bright is the latest former Democrat to run for his old seat as a Republican.

A sign is seen in front of a Montgomery, Ala., home of a supporter of Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, a Democratic Party candidate for Congress in Alabama's 2nd District on Thursday, July 31, 2008. Bright said the signs went up in yards of Republicans who are supporting his effort to be the first Democrat to represent the district in 44 years.
AP Photo/Bob Johnson
Kyle Trygstad
Add to Briefcase
Kyle Trygstad
March 2, 2018, 8:52 a.m.

If former Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright’s decision to run for his old seat in Alabama as a Republican sounds familiar, it’s because a remarkably similar thing happened next door just four years ago.

Gene Taylor, who represented the Mississippi coast as a culturally conservative Democrat for two decades, lost his seat in the 2010 Republican wave to Steven Palazzo, then a state legislator. After years of declining to switch parties, Taylor challenged Palazzo in the 2014 Republican primary and explained his conversion to supporters on the trail by saying the Democratic Party had left him.

Taylor took 43 percent and held the congressman to under 51 percent in the primary, but that was just enough for Palazzo to secure the nomination and avoid a three-week, one-on-one runoff.

Bright, like Taylor, was a Blue Dog during his one term in Congress after a decade as a nonpartisan mayor of Montgomery and lost his seat in 2010. He has pointed out that the state’s Republican governor and senator—as well as President Trump—were at one point all Democrats. But while the circumstances are similar to the Mississippi race, the primary in Alabama’s 2nd District has a notable difference: Bright isn’t the only one in the primary whose Republican bonafides are being challenged.

State Rep. Barry Moore and Rich Hobson, who managed Roy Moore’s unsuccessful Senate special election campaign last year, have criticized Republican Rep. Martha Roby for calling on Trump to drop out of the 2016 election.

Kyle Trygstad

What We're Following See More »
SEEN AS A DETERRENT
White House Announces Offensive Cyber Operations Against Enemies
39 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration on Thursday announced that the U.S. will now officially act to deter and respond to cyberattacks with offensive actions against foreign adversaries. The U.S.'s new cyber strategy, signed by President Trump, marks the federal government officially taking a more aggressive approach to cyber threats presented from across the globe."

Source:
STATE DEPARTMENT: "ULTIMATE TARGET IS RUSSIA"
Trump Sanctions China Over Russia Arms Deals
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Trump Administration will sanction China over the purchase of Russian-made fighter jets and anti-aircraft weapons systems. "The sanctions are being imposed pursuant to the 2017 sanctions law punishing Russian interference in the 2016 elections, which threatens to sanction any third party that conducts a 'significant transaction' with the Russian defense industry." State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert cited "the delivery to China of Su-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018" as the transactions that led to the sanctions.

Source:
AT RITE AID DISTRIBUTION WAREHOUSE
Multiple Shooting Deaths in Harford County, Md.
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS
FACES TOUGH CONFIRMATION FIGHT
Trump Taps Issa To Lead Trade Agency
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Trump named retiring Rep. Darrell Issa "to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, setting up what could be a contentious confirmation battle in the Senate." As former House Oversight Committee chairman, Issa accused top IRS officials "of targeting conservative groups for political purposes, led the charge to hold former Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and accused President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of trying to covering up the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attacks in 2012." If confirmed, Issa would lead the Trump Administration's multi-front effort to renegotiate more favorable trade deals.

Source:
BUT CANCELLATION WILL NOT COME SOON
Grassley Says Hearing May Be Pushed Past Monday
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Wednesday a planned Monday hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would likely not go on without accuser Christine Blasey Ford," but said any decision to cancel would be made at the last minute.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login