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Martha Roby reconciles with Trump, wins Alabama GOP runoff for chance at fifth term

Martha Roby reconciles with Trump, wins Alabama GOP runoff for chance at fifth term Martha Roby reconciles with Trump, wins Alabama GOP runo...

Martha Roby reconciles with Trump, wins Alabama GOP runoff for chance at fifth term

Martha Roby reconciles with Trump, wins Alabama GOP runoff for chance at fifth termCLOSE

US Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama thanked President Trump for endorsing her after she won a Republican runoff for her house seat. Roby angered Republicans in 2016 when she said Trump's comments about women made him an unacceptable candidate. (July 18)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. â€" Despite early renunciation of then-candidate Donald Trump and a five-candidate primary that forced her into a runoff, the GOP incumbent in Alabama's 2nd congressional district won a decisive victory over a former congressman and Montgomery mayor.

Rep. Martha Roby won the shot Tuesday at her fifth term, bringing home 48,277 votes to the 22,767 for Bobby Bright, a Democrat who switch ed parties for this race.

A seasoned politician whose first taste of campaigning came at age 26 in a Montgomery City Council race, Roby approached the GOP primary and subsequent campaigning in a business-as-usual manner. But Roby has been fighting for her political life after weathering accusations of disloyalty, and she took the dais at her watch party with a tone of impassioned gratefulness and a clear exhale.

"I want to thank the people who live and work in Alabama's 2nd District," Roby said after the race was called in her favor. "It’s a tremendous blessing to serve you. ... This seat belongs to you, and I will never forget that."

â–º July 17: Martha Roby wins GOP runoff for congressional seat in Alabama
â–º June 13: How much did the 'Trump Effect' influence South Carolina primary races?
â–º April 24: Cindy Hyde-Smith fundraising letter incorrectly claims Trump sup port

Roby had withdrawn her support for Trump toward the end of the 2016 campaign after the Access Hollywood recording that showed him bragging about groping women. But she had supported his policies since his inauguration, and last month after she qualified for Tuesday's runoff, the president endorsed Roby on Twitter.

The runoff gathering itself was a show of confidence from Roby's camp before polls closed. Opponents have continually questioned Roby's Republican bona fides since 2016.

On June 5, Roby and her team watched the results in a private location, pushing back media availability until it was all but certain she would.

On Tuesday, Roby personally thanked the president and Vice President Mike Pence. The third time was the charm for Trump in Alabama, after offering public and unsuccessful endorsements last year to both Luther Strange and Roy Moore in the special Senate election.

"Over the last year and a half it’s b een a great privilege to be a part of the conservative momentum," she said. "We are in a unique position to accomplish even more. I’m ready to continue the fight."

Despite her documented conservative voting record, the congresswoman never has rescinded her 2016 denouncement. Roby told Fox News last week she has "no regrets" about her statements on then-candidate Trump.

This week Bright called her reckless and lacking judgment for breaking with Trump.

Roby’s rural credentials also had been suggested as a weak spot in the 2nd Congressional District that encompasses the state’s urban seat of government and the agrarian Wiregrass region. But the campaign crisscrossed the district in recent week, even as Roby bounced back to Washington for votes, in a marked rural campaign with farmers and small-business owners.

"Team Roby traveled up and down our district to meet as many voters as possible to remind them why I believe I’m the best person to fight for the conservative values we hold dear. We didn’t take one vote for granted," Roby said. "I’m proud of the race we ran. A campaign based on facts and voting records, not one based on character attacks."

The four-time incumbent will face Democrat Tabitha Isner, a first-time candidate, in the November general election, a fight Roby said she's determined to keep within the bounds of "healthy" political discourse.

"The words we use and the way that we use them surely matter," Roby said. "As your representative, I will always strive to approach campaigns and fierce political debates with civility in mind. Our words have consequences. As leaders, we have a responsibility to use them wisely."

Follow Melissa Brown on Twitter: @itsmelissabrown

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