Bradley Byrne could have spent the remainder of his life soaking up a $174,000 a year taxpayer-funded salary just a few miles from Alabama’s gorgeous beaches.
All he had to do was run for reelection in his highly Gerrymandered 1st Congressional District, which includes the county he was raised in, Baldwin County, and the county he was born in, Mobile County. Counties which have a median household income of $55,962 and $46,166 as well as poverty rates of 9.8% and 20.8%, respectfully.
He could have ended his political career working for the district he has called home for most of his life, where he won in 2018 with 63% of the vote in a down year for Republicans nationally.
But he didn’t decide to end it there and he will soon be out of that $174,000 a year taxpayer-funded job come 2021 and the reason why is simple.
Byrne has no substance, just words. Words he expects Republican Alabama voters to respond to in a crowded field of candidates who say the exact same thing.
“I love Donald Trump more. “
“I’ll fight for the Christian version of God more.”
“I’ll be the white guy that stands up against brown people more.”
“I’ll be the male that fights for a government to force labor on women better than the other male.”
“I’ll make sure you have your guns.”
You’ve heard the radio ads. You’ve seen the TV ads. It is simple generic pandering to Alabama Republican voters.
Unfortunately for Byrne, there are people running against him that are simply better than he is at all of the above and they have a track record that proves it.
Take Roy Moore, who has achieved far more than Byrne by simply being elected to a statewide office. So what if he was removed from the same office twice. It was only because he fought back and the voters approved of him. He made it. He also won the Republican primary in 2017, so we can go ahead and add that to a list of things Byrne will never see.
Moore would be the Junior Senator from Alabama right now if it wasn’t for the women who stood up to him, Richard Shelby who refused to vote for him, and the 20k+ write-in votes that resulted from Shelby’s call to either stay home or have people write-in votes. Moore came closer than Byrne ever will because, despite all of those issues, he has at least never wavered in his beliefs and showed his words had meaning to his supporters.
“It is now clear that Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton,” Byrne said. “I believe he should step aside and allow [GOP vice presidential nominee] Gov. [Mike] Pence to lead the Republican ticket.”
Maybe Byrne never thought he would run for a statewide office again after his failed run for Governor in 2010, in which he was attacked for supporting evolution, so he decided to actually be honest instead of pandering. Then again, in 2017 he stood with Roy Moore. Oh, Byrne, what a tangled web we weave.
He made the comments about Trump after he had already won the Republican Republican primary and was running unopposed for his seat. He had nothing to lose which actually makes me think he was being completely honest in his comments about Trump. Unlike with Moore when he had to think about his future.
Many credit Sessions with helping Trump succeed in the Republican primaries by being the first Senator to endorse him while Byrne stood up for basic decency. I was in Madison, AL at the Trump rally when Sessions walked on stage. It was not expected, to say the least. Even after Trump made Sessions look like a chump and sent him packing, he comes back to Alabama and is the instant front runner to win the seat Byrne wants. Sorry, Byrne.
The worst, in my opinion, is polling behind a former football coach, Tommy Tuberville, who resigned because their fans are fickle, just 5 years after they were willing to pay him $4 million dollars to take a hike so they could hire Bobby Petrino. A bargain for Auburn at the time, considering the current buyouts for college head coaches and the fact that they still paid him nearly $6 million dollars to go away. He took his talents out of state after 2008 and didn’t look back until he gave up on his college football coaching career and took a page from Trump’s playbook on how to win over simple voters in Alabama.
Many like Tuberville because he has never had the opportunity to shoot himself in the foot as much as someone like Byrne has. Tuberville made it on his own, taking advantage of awful contracts for taxpayers. He isn’t the swamp though. His record is cleaner to Alabamians than Byrne’s, even if he did think the rebel flag was bad for recruiting. I mean, let’s be honest, he is right. It is.
Tuberville hasn’t spent his political career as confused as Byrne because he has never had one.
Byrne, once a Democrat, now a Republican. Once opposed to Trump, now he poses for pictures with him, sings his praises and begs desperately for his attention on social media to win the Republican Trump popularity contest.
Byrne is so bad at running for statewide office, someone who goes to his church and considers Byrne and his wife a friend called him out on his bullshit hyperpartisan rhetoric and it has been shared over 5k times as of writing this piece.
I’m sure Byrne will be just fine financially after he loses the Republican primary. That seems to be what Republicans in this state care about the most. Corruption is okay, as long as my pocket is fat. I just wonder when the results come in if this all will have been worth it to him as he sits on the outside, again.
Brent Wilson was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and is the Owner and Chief Editor of BamaPolitics.com.