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GOP Rep Not Sunk by Former Criticism of Trump

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby disavowed 2016 criticism, had full support of White House
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2018 2:03 AM CDT
Bobby Bright concedes to Rep. Martha Roby at his watch party, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at KimberLia's restaurant in Prattville, Ala.   (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
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(Newser) – US Rep. Martha Roby won Alabama's Republican runoff Tuesday, fighting through lingering fallout from her years-old criticism of then-candidate Donald Trump in a midterm contest that hinged on loyalty to the GOP president. The four-term incumbent will now represent the GOP on the November ballot having defeated Bobby Bright, a former Democrat who tried to cast himself as the more authentic Trump ally. The White House was on Roby's side, reports the AP, with the president tweeting Wednesday that "my endorsement came appropriately late, but when it came the 'flood gates' opened and you had the kind of landslide victory that you deserve. Enjoy!" Vice President Mike Pence recorded robocalls over the weekend saying she's a reliable vote for the Trump agenda.

"It's been a true privilege to have the support of the White House through this campaign," Roby told cheering supporters Tuesday, her voice cracking with emotion. Some intervention was required after Roby angered Alabama Republicans in the closing days of the 2016 election when she said Trump's lewd comments about women on an Access Hollywood tape made him an unacceptable candidate. She spent much of the last two years trying to convince her constituents in Alabama's 2nd Congressional District that she was sufficiently loyal to Trump. Voters indicated they were willing to move on, and Roby is widely expected to win re-election in November.

(Read more Election 2018 stories.)

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