Robert Brown Aderholt (born July 22, 1965) is the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 4th congressional district, serving since 1997. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes most of Tuscaloosa County north of the Black Warrior River, as well as the far northern suburbs of Birmingham in Walker County and the southern suburbs of Huntsville and Decatur.
Aderholt is a member of the congressional Tea Party Caucus and has taken conservative stands on issues such as abortion, tax reform, and defense spending.
Early life, education and career
Aderholt was born in Haleyville, Alabama, to Mary Frances Brown and Bobby Ray Aderholt. Aderholt's father, a part-time minister for a small group of Congregational churches in northwest Alabama, was a circuit judge for more than 30 years. He attended the University of North Alabama and then Birmingham-Southern College from which he graduated. During college, Aderholt was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. Aderholt received his J.D. from the Samford UniversityCumberland School of Law and practiced law after graduation.
In 1992, Aderholt was appointed Haleyville municipal judge. In the same year, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. In 1995, he became the top aide to GovernorFob James. He won the 1996 Republican primary in the race to succeed 15-term Democratic incumbent Tom Bevill.
He does not support reducing the defense budget to close the American deficit, and in May 2012 said "cuts to defense budgets – the federal government's primary Constitutional responsibility – shouldn't be the relief valve for uncontrolled domestic program spending". Aderholt opposes government spending to stimulate economic growth. He voted against the $787 Billion Stimulus Package in February 2009.
During the 2013 111th Congress, Aderholt voted for the amendment by Rep. Scalise (R-LA)[Notes 1] which would "require that Congress be allowed to vote on any executive regulation that would impose any tax, price, or levy upon carbon emissions... effectively prevents the executive branch from levying any form of carbon tax without Congressional approval. Since a carbon tax would be tremendously destructive to the economy as a whole, this measure would hopefully make such a tax unlikely to pass." Aderholt opposed regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, and in December 2008 helped write a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which stated, "I am opposed to any attempt to impose greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act on the agricultural industry." Aderholt was against the policies promoted by the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference as well as the US proposed Cap and Trade Bill, part of what he argued was an "unrealistic carbon emissions reduction mandate" that would result in a loss of American jobs. He agreed with the global warming petition project that, "[t]here is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate."
Aderholt is a supporter of the gun rights. He was endorsed by the NRA in the 2010 general election, and received $2000 from them.
In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Aderholt called it a terrorist attack and stated "we do not have the luxury of debating the political correctness of 'radical Islam'." He stated a need to "hunt down those who would do us harm." He opposed the media and President Obama using the shooting to "push any type of political agenda relating to gun control. He made a call to the White House and Congress to "protect the homeland."
Aderholt is opposed to same-sex marriage. He has received high ratings from the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coalition, and the American Family Association. In 2013, the Human Rights Campaign gave him a score of 0 on its Congressional Scorecard.
In December 2011, Aderholt voted in support of H.R. 10, the "Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act," which would have required congressional approval for any "major regulations" issued by the executive branch but, unlike the 1996 Congressional Review Act, would not require the president's signature or override of a probable presidential veto.
During the “March for Life” rally in Washington on Jan 22, 2010, he said, “The issue of abortion and the sanctity of life is something that I feel strongly about and I encourage my colleagues to look for ways to curb and stop abortions in the United States, while compassionately educating on this important issue.”
Aderholt has a "D" rating from NORML regarding his voting record on cannabis-related matters. He voted against allowing veterans access to medical marijuana, if legal in their state, per their Veterans Health Administration doctor's recommendation.
Aderholt is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
He voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Aderholt said he voted for the bill "to give back more money to Alabama taxpayers." He also stated that the bill "does the right thing." He cited the raising of the child tax credit, changes to the state and local tax deductions, and stated that "more than 80% the people in the 4th District of Alabama will receive a tax cut." Aderholt also says that more businesses will stay in the US due to a lower corporate tax rate and therefore the act is a "jobs bill."
U.S. House of Representatives
Aderholt's voting record is generally conservative. However, his votes on economic issues have been generally based on the concerns of his district rather than an overarching ideology. He has been notable in his support of quotas on steel imports and sponsored a bill assessing additional anti-dumping duties on foreign steel in 1999. He voted against the free trade agreements with Chile, Morocco, and Singapore, but supported the US-Australia FTA. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Aderholt has secured a significant amount of highway and sewer funding for the 4th District. Aderholt voted in favor of a joint resolution to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000 and 2005. He is involved with the NASA Space Launch System and has urged to increase funding for the programs based in Alabama.
Aderholt is a supporter of Roy Moore.
Aderholt voted in favor of the Central America Free Trade Agreement, but has since stated that he relied on promises by the Bush White House that were not kept.
On November 4, 1999, Aderholt voted in favor of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which some economists, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, believe helped create the 2007 financial crisis.
Sponsor HR 3808: Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010, 111th Congress
The bill was cosponsored by Reps. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa), Michael Castle (R., Del.), and Artur Davis (D., Ala.).
H.R. 3808 Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010 – To require any Federal or State court to recognize any notarization made by a notary public licensed by a State other than the State where the court is located when such notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce.
Apr 27, 2010: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by voice vote. A record of each representative’s position was not kept.
Sep 27, 2010: This bill passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent. A record of each senator’s position was not kept.
Oct 8, 2010: Vetoed by President.
H.R. 2017 Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012
May 26, 2011: Introduced
June 2, 2011: Passed House with amendments
September 26, 2011: Passed Senate with amendments
September 30, 2011: Became Public Law 112-33 
As the Republican nominee, Aderholt faced a considerable challenge against State Senator Bob Wilson Jr., who called himself a Democrat "in the Tom Bevill tradition". This was a seriously contested race, receiving a deal of national coverage and significant support from the Republican Party. Newt Gingrich personally visited the district during the campaign. Aderholt won narrowly, 50%–48%, becoming only the second Republican to represent this district since Reconstruction. The first, Jim Martin, was swept into office in what was then the 7th District during the 1964 wave that delivered the state's electoral votes to Barry Goldwater. Aderholt has never faced another contest nearly that close, and has been reelected nine times. He even ran unopposed in 2004, 2010, 2014, and 2016.
Aderholt's increasing margins reflected the growing Republican trend in this part of Alabama. While Democrats still have a majority in voter registration, the district's Democrats are very conservative on social issues, even by Alabama standards. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+30, it is the fifth-most Republican district in the nation and the third-most Republican district east of the Mississippi.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Alabama, 2010 § District 4
Aderholt was re-elected unopposed.
Further information: United States House of Representatives elections in Alabama, 2012 § District 4
Aderholt was reelected in the November election where he beat State representativeDaniel Boman, the Democratic nominee. In 2012 Aderholt raised $1,207,484.98 for his campaign, but spent only $963,859.15. Parker Towing was his largest contributor, providing $24,000.00. $493,856, 41% of his contributions came from large individual contributions. $583,000, 48% came from PACs.
|Alabama's 4th Congressional District House Primary Election, 1996|
|Republican||Robert B. Aderholt||10,410||48.83|
Main article: U.S. House election, 2002
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections, 2004
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections, 2006
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections, 2008
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections, 2010
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections, 2012
|Alabama's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2014|
|Republican||Robert B. Aderholt||132,831||98.57%||+24.57%|
|Alabama's 4th Congressional District House Primary Election, 2016|
|Republican||Robert B. Aderholt||86,660||81.18%|
|Alabama's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2016|
|Republican||Robert B. Aderholt||235,925||98.53%||-.04%|
Aderholt is married to the former Caroline McDonald. Her father Albert McDonald served in the Alabama State Senate and was Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries. They have two children, Robert Hayes and Mary Elliot.
- ^U.S. House of Representatives
- ^Orndorff Troyan, Mary (August 4, 2010). "Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt joins congressional Tea Party Caucus". AL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- ^Family Tree Maker's
- ^McCutcheon, Michael; Barone, Chuck (2013). 2014 Almanac of American Politics. The University of Chicago Press.
- ^"Redstone's Pivotal Role in Nation's Technology Must be Protected, says Rep. Robert Aderholt". AL.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- ^"Inhofe Says EPA's New Boiler Rule Could Kill Nearly 800,000 Manufacturing Jobs". Fox News. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- ^Global warming petition project, Global warming petition project, retrieved 21 September 2013
- ^"Obama to present gun agenda; all but one Alabama representative supported by NRA". On The Issues. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- ^"Robert Aderholt on Gun Control". Challen Stevens. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- ^Berkowitz, Bonnie; Cai, Weiyi; Lu, Denise; Gamio, Lazaro. "Everything lawmakers said (and didn't say) after the Orlando mass shooting". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- ^"Congressional Scorecard: Measuring Support for Equality in the 112th Congress"(PDF). Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- ^Sonmez, Felicia (December 7, 2011). "REINS bill to expand congressional power over executive regulations passed by House". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- ^"FreedomWorks Scorecard".
- ^Baragona, Justin. "Taking Back the House, Vol. 3: Robert Aderholt and Alabama's 4th District". PoliticalUSA. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- ^"Alabama Scorecard - NORML.org - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws". norml.org. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- ^Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- ^Hagstrom, Jerry. "Senate Passes Tax Bill Late Tuesday, But Rules Force House to Revote Wednesday". DTN Progressive Farmer. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- ^"House passes $1.5T tax bill, delivering on a major piece of GOP agenda". WHNT.com. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- ^"GovTrack: House Vote on Conference Report: S. 900 [106th]: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act". Govtrack.us. 1999-11-04. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- ^"Bill Summary and Status".
- ^"Alabama Secretary of State"(PDF).
- ^'Funeral Service set for Albert McDonald, former state senator and ag commissioner from Madison,' AL.com., Steve Doyle, July 7, 2014
- Aderholt, Robert (13 December 2010), The Daily Mountain Eagle Climate change: Don't place the cart ahead of the horse
- ATR (2010), The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List(PDF), Americans for Tax Reform, retrieved November 30, 2011
- Baram, Marcus (19 September 2008), Who's Whining Now? Economists Hit Gramm: talk about words coming back to haunt you, Abcnews.go.com, retrieved 21 September 2013
- Freedom Works (2013), Robert B. Aderholt, Freedom Works, retrieved 21 September 2013
- Paletta, Damian (2009-03-10), Ten Questions for Those Fixing the Financial Mess – WSJ.com, Online.wsj.com, retrieved 2010-08-22
- VoteSmart (2012), Representative Robert B. Aderholt's Political Positions, One Common Ground, retrieved 19 November 2012
- ^H. Amendment: H.Amdt. 448 to H.R. 367
Republican President-elect Donald Trump announced Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as his pick for attorney general, and that’s raising questions about who his replacement will be.
Sessions’ seat is considered by most pundits to be a “safe Republican” seat, meaning it’s a reliable refuge the Republican Party can go to in order to build a Senate majority. It’s the first safe Republican seat to open in Alabama in over 20 years, according to Politico. Sessions’ election history appears to back up that label. He started his Senate career with an upset, earning a runoff in the 1996 Republican primary. Sessions has built on his 52 percent election result in 1996 to 63 percent in the most recent 2008 Senate elections. He ran unopposed in 2014, earning 97 percent of the vote.
The U.S. Constitution leaves the responsibility of filling Senate vacancies up to the individual states, and the Alabama Constitution requires Gov. Robert Bentley to make a short-term appointment to replace Sessions, with the caveat that the appointee be a member of the same party as the outgoing member. The Constitution also requires the governor hold a special election before the 2018 midterm elections, although it is possible for the governor to wait until that election to replace his appointee.
The 2017 special election would be open to anyone, assuming they meet the requirements for the office of being at least 30 years old, a citizen for at least nine years, and be a current resident of the state of Alabama. The special election would fill the seat until the 2020 election, when Sessions would have had to run again to keep the office of senator. The Republican list to replace Sessions is much longer than the potential Democratic list, due to the states’s requirement that the appointee be of the Republican Party. Since Democrats don’t have a way to win the office until the special election, their list is shorter.
Topping the Republican list is Rep. Mo Brooks, who told reporters with AL.com that he would pursue the seat under two conditions: that Sessions would actually go into the cabinet, and if Sessions didn’t have anyone else he preferred for the post.
“One if is if Jeff Sessions goes into the Cabinet — and I’m encouraging him not to,” Brooks said. “The second if is if Jeff Sessions doesn’t have a preference” for his successor, adding that he hopes Sessions’s recommendation “will be given great weight by the governor.”
Brooks has been a representative from Alabama since 2011, and serves on the House Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Brooks is considered the moderate choice, with Ballotpedia ranking him as voting with his party on a majority of bills.
He does have a solid electoral history, though, earning 65 percent in the 2012 race, and expanding his lead to 75 percent of the vote in 2014. Brooks earned 67 percent of the vote in the 2016 election.
Another potential appointee that “stands out,” according to Conservative Review, is U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer. Palmer co-founded the Alabama Policy Institute, a state-based think tank that he ran for 24 years before he ran for office in 2014. Conservative Review gives Palmer a “100” score on its Liberty Score. Conservative Review “grades members of Congress using long-term voting records. A letter grade is assigned to each member based on how well they support conservative principles,” according to its website. Palmer voted to remove former Speaker of the House John Boehner from leadership, as well as opposed the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. Palmer did vote in favor of the Iran trade deal.
Palmer earned a runoff in the 2014 Republican primary, defeating Republican Paul DeMarco before winning the seat with 76 percent. Palmer won again in 2016, but by a slightly smaller 75 percent. Voting turnout and election history classify Palmer’s district as a safe Republican seat, which means the seat is unlikely to turn Democratic in the House if Palmer were to take Session’s place.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby also emerged as a top pick, according to R Street Institute state programs director Cameron Smith. Roby criticized Trump toward the end of the presidential campaign, after the 2005 video of Trump’s comments about women came to light. Roby called on Trump to step aside from the race, and declared that she would no longer vote for him.
Roby is rumored to be open to a gubernatorial bid in 2018, but she has a somewhat weak election history, only winning by nine points in 2016 despite running in a safe Republican district. Roll Call reported Roby could face serious primary challengers in 2018 as a direct result of her comments about Trump. (RELATED: Republicans Dominated The Senate Races, Except The Ones Who Dumped Trump)
Also under consideration is U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, who just earned his 11th term as representative, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. “Having spent 20 years here, I feel like I at least understand how the structure works up here and I would be someone who could hit the ground running,” Aderholt said in an interview at the U.S. Capitol. “Senator Sessions and I have a lot of similar views on things and I would be able to continue on with a lot of the stuff he has worked on.”
Aderholt does have extended experience in Washington, D.C., but he is hardly the only Republican in contention that has D.C. experience. Aderholt currently serves on the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, and chairs the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. Aderholt served in D.C. since winning office in 1996 with 49.9 percent of the vote. Aderholt ran unopposed in the 2016 election.
On the Democratic side, state Sen. Vivian Figures was the last to launch a bid against Sessions in 2008, when she earned nearly 40 percent of the vote. As state senator, Figures has had limited need for fundraising, drawing doubts that she could credibly run an effective campaign in the special election season. Although that deficit could change if the election is a special election held in 2017, since it would draw national attention from the Democratic Party looking to whittle down Republican numbers in the Senate.
Bentley can decide exactly when the election is held, despite the fact that the expectation is that the election is held up to four months after the position is vacated. If the election is held sometime during the 2017 cycle, then candidates are free to run for the office even if they currently hold other seats in either the state or federal government. If the election is held in 2018, then the field is likely to narrow because members of Congress will be forced to pick a seat to run for.
Bentley currently faces an impeachment investigation into his conduct after it came to light that he sent inappropriate text messages to a staffer, and it is unclear how the investigation will affect Bentley’s decision to hold the election, or if it will at all.
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Tags: Alabama, Donald Trump, Elections 2016, Gary Palmer, Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions, Martha Roby, Robert Bentley, Trump Transition