Martha Roby, in her fifth term representing Alabama’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, caught many of her constituents by surprise when she announced July 26 that she would not seek a sixth term.
“After much prayer and consideration, Riley and I have decided it is time to close this wonderful chapter,” Roby said in a weekend op-ed. She offered no explanation, but she has no obligation to do so. She intends to serve the remainder of her term, which will complete her contract with the people.
However, Roby’s decision to leave Congress isn’t an isolated case – five House Republicans have announced their departure in recent weeks, bring the total to eight this year, reports the New York Times, which points out that several other House Republicans are seeking other jobs, including Alabama Bradley Byrne, who has entered the race for U.S. Senate.
There’s been no stated reason for the departures, but plenty of possibilities, including the frustration of partisan gridlock, or even Trump fatigue. After all, Rep. Roby condemned candidate Trump following the release of the infamous “grab-‘em” recording; while she learned to co-exist with the president, it’s unlikely she’s changed her opinion.
There’s also conjecture that should Alabama lose a congressional district following the 2020 Census, it will be the 2nd District that dissolves.
For our corner of the world, Roby’s departure will likely be seamless. We’re fortunate that she’s been a staunch advocate for farmers and the military, which are strongholds in her constituency, and we expect her successor will share the same values, or they won’t be long for Washington.
Already candidates are lining up to face off in the 2020 GOP primary for the District 2 House seat, and we’re encourage to see interest from at least one local business leader, Jeff Coleman, who has announced his intent to run.
The field may grow as large as the Democrats’ cadre of presidential hopefuls. The only safe bet is that the next person to hold Alabama’s 2nd District seat in the U.S. House will be conservative and Republican.