Millbrook AL (WTVY)-- Bobby Bright claims he’s Republican as Republican gets and believes efforts to remove him from the party’s ballot are being orchestrated by one or more opponents.
Bobby Bright stands outside his campaign headquarters in this December 21, 2018 photo.
Bright is among four GOP candidates seeking to represent Alabama’s second district in Congress. As a Democrat he served one term in the same office several years ago.
“I am a Republican, my philosophy is Republican, and I want to run this race as a Republican,” Bright said during an exclusive interview with WTVY.
Two people, including Houston County Commissioner Brandon Shoupe, challenged Bright’s candidacy though Shoupe, believing Bright is still a Democrat, later withdrew his challenge.
“I think the best thing for the Republican Party is just to allow him to be on the ballot and let Republicans at large decide (the election),” Shoupe said.
Others feel differently, and members of the party’s state executive committee will decide Saturday whether to remove Bright.
Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan declined to comment telling the website AL.com the time to speak on the matter will be after a decision is made.
Though he isn’t believed to have filed a challenge, Alabama State Representative and Bright opponent Barry Moore of Enterprise believes Bright and incumbent Martha Roby should both be removed.
"Bright and Roby worked to pave the way for 12 years of Obama-Clinton, and they do not deserve to be on the primary ballot,” he stated during a recent email to potential supporters.
Roby, in 2016, refused to support Donald Trump for President after inappropriate sexual conduct allegations were made against him.
Bright has not suggested Roby is part of the effort to remove him.
In 2008, after a decade as Montgomery mayor, Bright decided to seek the seat in Washington. He said when he approached Republican leaders he was told they intended to support another candidate, so he brought his conservative political views to the Democratic Party, in dire need of a formidable candidate.
In one of the most contested races in state history Bright won, defeating Republican nominee Jay Love but, two years later, the Democratic label, during President Obama’s administration, cost him. Bright lost to Roby.
State Senator Harri Anne Smith (I-Slocomb), defeated by Love, backed Bright and, as could be the case Saturday, was tossed from the party.
Political foes accuse Bright of voting pro-Democrat the bulk of his time on Capitol Hill. Bright doesn’t deny he did but points out many of those votes were bills without controversy like approving a small-town post office name change. Bright claims he was rated the number two most conservative Democrat in Congress.
Bright, who said he’s running this after receiving thousands of requests to do so, will be allowed to address Party leadership Saturday and is hopeful he’ll remain a Republican candidate.
“I respect the committee, they’ve got a tough job to do but if they’ll fall down on the right side of this they’ll let me stay on the ballot.”