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
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 »
NO INDICTMENTS SINCE JANUARY
Mueller's Team Down to 10 Lawyers
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Mueller’s team, once filled with 17 lawyers, will soon be down to 10. The special counsel’s office confirmed in recent days that Zainab Ahmad’s detail has ended, and Andrew Weissmann will soon be leaving for the private sector. No one has been charged by the special counsel since longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was indicted in January for allegedly lying to Congress."

Source:
HE PLANNED TO LEAVE MID-MARCH
Rosenstein Not Leaving DOJ Yet
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MANAFORT STEERED HIM WORK IN UKRAINE
Prosecutors Weighing Whether to Charge Greg Craig
3 days ago
THE LATEST

A long-running federal investigation into former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig "is reaching a critical stage, presenting the Justice Department with a decision about whether to charge a prominent Democrat as part of a more aggressive crackdown on illegal foreign lobbying." Federal prosecutors in New York have transferred the case to Washington. ... The investigation centers on whether Mr. Craig should have disclosed work he did in 2012 — while he was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom — on behalf of the Russia-aligned government of Viktor F. Yanukovych, then the president of Ukraine. The work was steered to Mr. Craig by Paul Manafort."

Source:
AUTHORIZED TO UNLOCK PHONES
Feds Raided Broidy's Offices Last Year
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Federal authorities raided the office of Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy last summer, seeking records related to his dealings with foreign officials and Trump administration associates, according to a sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica. Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans."

Source:
REPUBLICANS SAID VOTE WAS A WASTE OF TIME
House Approves Resolution to Release Mueller Report, 420-0
1 weeks ago
THE DETAILS

"The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on the Justice Department to make special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings and full report public and available to Congress. The 420-0 vote came after a fiery debate on the House floor, during which some Democratic lawmakers were admonished for their criticisms of President Donald Trump. Republicans said the resolution was unnecessary and a waste of time, but ultimately joined Democrats to approve it. Four Republicans — Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky — voted 'present.'"

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