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20 October 2010

Alabama – House of Representatives, Second District

Bobby Bright (D) v Martha Roby (R)

By Rob Higson

Bobby Bright, a freshman congressman, has made a name for himself as a Democrat not afraid to vote and campaign against party lines.

The pro-gun, pro-life, anti-abortion and self-described social conservative Bright voted against both the health-care reform bill and President Barack Obama’s stimulus package.

He has sought to portray himself as an independent-minded conservative in what is undoubtedly a more conservative state.

The Republicans should expect to do well here – a seat that turned out 63 per cent for John McCain in 2008.

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One of 14 children, Bright made an early name for himself upon becoming mayor of Montgomery.

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He has distanced himself away from Democrats in Washington – suggesting, for example, that he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi as speaker in the next Congress.

The seat had been held for over 40 years by the GOP until 2008, and so Bright has an enormous task on his hands, especially given Obama’s unpopularity across the state.

Bright’s challenger, the Republican Martha Roby, a 34-year-old mother-of-two and city councillor, has campaigned strongly and been robustly critical of the president’s health-care reforms in particular.

At the moment, the polls are fluctuating and the race seems too close to call. Others put Roby on 2 points ahead of her Democratic rival.

Previous race: Pennsylvania – Senate

Next race: Kentucky – Senate