NRCC-backed Roby wins Alabama runoff

Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby (R) will face freshman Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) after winning the runoff for the GOP nomination.

The heavily-favored Roby was forced into the runoff with businessman Rick Barber (R) after she failed to break 50 percent in the June 1 primary.

Roby, a top recruit of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), put up a convincing display on Tuesday, winning 60 percent of the vote to Barber’s 40 with 383 of 406 precincts reporting. The Associated Press declared her the winner.

Barber had hoped to capitalize on the strength of the Tea Party movement in the 2nd district. But as the race wore on, he looked out of his depth and was forced to defend a series of controversial campaign ads.

Barber released a minute-long TV ad that features him yelling about being taxed without representation to a group of men dressed as America’s Founding Fathers. The ad closes with an actor dressed as a young George Washington murmuring, “Gather your armies.” He also released a recent Web ad that equates taxation to slavery and features an actor playing Abraham Lincoln.

The ads generated national attention but drew little inside the district. Barber also ran into trouble on the heels of reports that he hosted poker games at his DeJa Vu pool hall in Montgomery.

The NRCC praised Roby in a memo released Tuesday night.

“The results of the congressional primaries prove that Republicans are poised to run highly successful campaigns in Alabama,” the memo stated.

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