By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – U.S. Rep. Martha Roby has served as the congressman for Alabama’s 2nd District since 2011. First elected as a part of the Republican wave of 2010, Roby recently decided that this, her fifth term in Congress, will be her last.
Before the House let out for its August recess, Roby announced that she will not seek another term. That decision surprised a lot of people because virtually no one had predicted Roby would be stepping away next year. She was also somewhat coy on the factors that contributed to her decision, only saying that she and her family had prayed about it and decided it was time to “close those this chapter.”
For the latest episode of “In the Weeds” with Alabama Daily News, I sat down with my former boss for a more in depth conversation about her decision, how Congress has changed over the years, what accomplishments she’s proudest of, and what’s next for her career. She also had some advice for any candidates seeking her seat that is really worth a listen, whether you are a candidate or an observer.
Speaking of potential candidates, Caroline Beck and I reviewed the latest list of announced candidates and those still thought to be considering a run. I predict there will be as many as six serious candidates by the time qualifying ends, and that makes for a crowded race.
Here’s an excerpt of our interview with Rep. Roby (full transcript to come):
Todd Stacy: Well, the frustrating thing about TV and print and a lot of media is you get that eight second sound bite, or you get 50 words, maybe, in a story where you talked for five minutes. So, in this format you get as much time as you want. So, let me just ask you, in your own words, why did you decide not to run?
Rep. Martha Roby: Really, it was just after a lot of prayer and a lot of consideration that Riley and I made the decision that it was it was time to close this chapter. I mean, I have no plans. I know that’s the next question. Right?
TS: No, that question is way down the list. I was taught to lead with the “Why.”
MR: Ha ha, who taught you that? No, it’s always a good question to ask. I think it’s important when you’re you’re trying to make the point to say why are we doing this. So, sure. I mean, I’ve really I just think it’s time. You know, my name has been on a ballot for the last 16 years of my life. I love public service. I love this job. I think there’s a lot of speculation out there right now about, you know, why why would do this? And if that’s fair, that’s fair. But truly, it is just, it’s just time.
TS: When when exactly did you make the call? You must have been thinking about it for a while. But was there a point at which it was…
MR: Yeah, no, we have been thinking about it for a while. And I really wanted to run for reelection [last] time. And, look, that was a tough battle. And I’m so grateful that I was able to win my last election, because I just felt like there was some unfinished business. And there still is. And so, again, I have an extremely grateful heart that I have gotten this opportunity to have these two years in Congress to continue the work that I’ve started. But I know at the end of this term, it is time to walk away and have a tremendous amount of peace about it.