Incumbent Swamps Challenger in Alabama Republican Primary

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (CN) — Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby tromped former Congressman Bobby Bright on Tuesday in the Republican primary runoff in Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

Roby beat Bright, who represented the Second District for one term as a Democrat, by more than 2-to-1, taking 68 percent of the vote: 48,277 votes to 22,767.

The race in the solidly Republican district in southeast Alabama drew interest because Bright switched parties to challenge Roby after she denounced candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 after release of the “Access Hollywood” “grab ‘em by the pussy” tape.

The Associated Press called the election for Roby at 8:30 p.m. local time.

In her victory statement, Roby called it “a great privilege to be a part of the conservative momentum and to work alongside my colleagues in Congress and the Trump administration to push some very important priorities over the finish line. We are in a unique position to accomplish even more, and I’m eager to continue the fight.”

Roby topped four challengers in the June 5 Republican primary, but no candidate took 50 percent+1 vote in that race, which forced the Tuesday runoff.

Bright held the Second District seat from 2009 to 2011, as a Democrat. He called himself an outsider in his challenge to Roby and said he voted for Trump and will support his agenda.

Roby announced a month before the 2016 general election that “the best thing for our country and our own party is for Trump to step aside and allow a responsible, respectable Republican to lead the ticket.” She said later that she cast a write-in vote for Mike Pence for president.

Despite her cold shoulder, Trump endorsed Roby on June 22, rejecting Bright as a “recent Nancy Pelosi-voting Democrat.”

Roby swamped Bright in fund raising, with $2.1 million, according to federal filings, while Bright raised $97,000, in addition to $300,000 in his own loans to his campaign, according to his FEC reports.

Roby will face Democratic candidate Tabitha Isner in November, though the district is expected to be a lock for the Republican.

(Courthouse News reporter Adam Powell contributed to this report.)

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