Fmr State Rep. Barry Moore hopes second time is a charm in 2020 U.S. congressional run
In 2018, it was not meant to be for now-former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), who ran to unseat U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery).
At the time, many looked at Roby as vulnerable given her decision to call on then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to step aside after old “Access Hollywood” outtake audio revealed the now-president was making inappropriate remarks about women before the taping of an interview with then-host Billy Bush.
That turned out not to be the case at all. Despite being forced into a runoff in a crowded primary field, Roby prevailed by defeating her predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Bobby Bright, who had won the seat previously as a Democrat.
Among those in the primary was Moore, who missed the runoff by roughly 8,300 votes out of more than 94,000 votes cast.
Last month, Roby announced she would not seek another term representing Alabama’s second congressional district, which left the wide-open door for someone new to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from that district. Since Roby’s announcement, former Business Council of Alabama chairman Jeff Coleman, State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) and now Barry Moore have announced their intentions to seek the Republican nod for that congressional seat.
In a wide-ranging interview with Yellowhammer News, the former two-term state representative that is now operating a waste disposal, excavation and demolition company spoke about his decision to make another run for the seat.
“We ran, and I think we made a great showing considering the money that was spent last time between Martha [Roby] and Bobby Bright,” Moore said. “I think they spent about $2.4 million. We ended up with 20% of the vote and spent just under $200,000. It was my first time in. It was the first time we ever tried, but we laid a lot of groundwork, made a lot of friends across the district – conservative people who like Trump, number one. Number two, feel like the country is headed in the wrong direction. [Trump] maybe could get some help. He feels like a man on an island fighting this progressive movement.”
According to the Coffee County Republican, he was sought out after Roby’s announcement.
“When she stepped down, my phone started ringing,” he added. “I was hearing from people who supported me, who asked me to run last time. It was encouraging. I thought, ‘You know what? We’re going to step in, and if the people choose to send us, we’ll go serve. That’s kind of how I looked at.”
One aspect of his service in the legislature Moore touted was his commitment to veterans’ issues, which he said was important given the presence of Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker in the second congressional district.
“I think the thing we need to do is reach out to the people who may not know us or what we’re about,” Moore said. “We served in the legislature in Alabama for eight years. I chaired Military and Veterans’ Affairs [committee]. I went to Maxwell-Gunter a lot and met a lot of the veterans groups and military active-duty families. Those bases knew me and knew of me. Fort Rucker was near my home district. So, there’s some areas we need to reach.”
“But I think if we reach them with our message and the fact we were on the Trump train, and we always had a very conservative voting record,” he continued. “And I had an opportunity when I was in the legislature — they asked us to choose. I was sitting on Military and Veterans Affairs Committee as chairman. I was sitting on Rules, and Rules is a powerful committee. But they asked us to pick one or the other, and I chose my veterans over the power and the money and the prestige of the system. And so, I always went and served the people I told them I would serve and do the job that I thought I needed to do.”
“With that said, we need to get our message out in some of those areas,” Moore added. “But having served as I have, I think our name ID does pretty well. I think it is possible to be in government and not be a part of the system. That’s why I term-limited myself the first time. I served two terms. I told them in ’14 I was going to serve one more term and that was going to be it. I served my two terms there and honestly, I thought I was about out of politics until the Trump team asked me to get in in ’16 to try and help him, and that’s why I ended up running against Ms. Roby the last time around. When she stepped down, I think he still needs a great deal of help to get some things done. We need some tip-of-the-spear kind of people up there – not to just fight for the agenda, but in some way say to him and his family that they restore some sort of sense of American pride in this country and recognize the greatness of this nation – not necessarily that it is perfect, but capitalism is absolutely the best system man has found in history and to allow them the opportunity. And the U.S. is the best of all of them because you have an opportunity to excel because of where you came from.”
Moore, who also holds a degree in animal science from Auburn University, said he recognized the importance of agriculture to Alabama’s second congressional district.
“I’ve grown up around farms and been on farms all my life — as a matter of fact, my cousin still farms this land we have our office on now,” he said. “Agriculture is a huge economic player for us. More importantly, the government needs to protect the food supply, and that is why some of these programs are designed the way they are — designed so these men can take these risks, put these seeds in the ground and look to produce so we can feed and clothe this nation.”
Republicans in Alabama’s second congressional district will have the opportunity to go to the polls on March 3, 2020, and vote their preference on who will represent the GOP on the ballot in the November 3, 2020 general election.