Bradley Roberts Byrne (born February 16, 1955) is an American business attorney and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 1st congressional district since 2014. Elected as a member of the state Board of Education as a Democrat in 1994, he became a member of the Republican Party in 1997, supporting "creationism," and served in the Alabama Senate from 2003 to 2007, representing the state's 32nd district.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Alabama's 1st district
|Assumed office |
January 8, 2014
|Preceded by||Jo Bonner|
|Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System|
May 2007 – August 31, 2009
|Preceded by||Roy Johnson|
|Succeeded by||Freida Hill|
|Member of the Alabama Senate|
from the 32nd district
November 2002 – January 2007
|Preceded by||Albert Lipscomb|
|Succeeded by||Trip Pittman|
|Member of the|
Alabama State Board of Education
from the 1st District
January 3, 1995 – January 4, 2003
|Preceded by||John M. Tyson Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Randy McKinney|
Bradley Roberts Byrne
February 16, 1955
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
|Political party||Republican (1997–present)|
|Democratic (before 1997)|
Rebecca Dukes (m. 1982)
|Education||Duke University (BA)|
University of Alabama (JD)
Byrne was chancellor of the Alabama Community College System from 2007 until he resigned in 2009 to run for the 2010 Republican nomination for governor of Alabama. In December 2013 he won a special election to represent the state's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. On February 20, 2019, he announced his intention to run for the United States Senate in 2020.
- 1 Political background
- 2 Chancellor of Alabama's Community College System
- 3 2010 gubernatorial campaign
- 4 Post-election activity
- 5 United States House of Representatives
- 6 2020 U.S. Senate election
- 7 Political positions
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Byrne's first run for elective office, in 1994, was a success when he was elected to the Alabama State Board of Education as a Democrat. During his term on the Board of Education, Byrne supported a science curriculum that was opposed by many religious leaders in Alabama. He later voted with the Board to support a compromise that said, "Explanations of the origin of life and major groups of plants and animals, including humans, shall be treated as theory and not as fact. When attempting to apply scientific knowledge to world problems, no social agenda shall be promoted." In 1996 Byrne voted with the majority of Board members to reject $18 million in federal education funds because it was feared the money would allow greater federal control of schools. The vote was seen as a nod to the growing conservative influence in his south Alabama district. Byrne later changed his mind and convinced the Board to allow the money.
Chancellor of Alabama's Community College SystemEdit
In May 2007 Byrne took the position of community college chancellor and oversaw a controversial reordering of much of the system. Bishop State Community College in Mobile was the target of investigators who found both financial and academic issues at the school in 2006 and 2007. Byrne ordered an audit of the school, which demonstrated many deficiencies. At the time, about 2 dozen people were charged with criminal fraud and theft charges. A total of 27 were charged before the probe ended in May 2007.
2010 gubernatorial campaignEdit
During the campaign, he was accused by his opponents in the Republican primary of supporting evolution and of doubting that the Bible was infallible. Byrne responded, "as a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God ... As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books. Those who attack me have distorted, twisted and misrepresented my comments and are spewing utter lies to the people of this state." He also added that he believed "every single word" of the Bible was true.
Following the runoff, Byrne went back to practicing business law, joining the Jones Walker law firm on August 16, 2010.
On February 23, 2011, Byrne announced he was partnering with other prominent Alabamians to create a nonprofit organization that would push for reforms in state government. Named "Reform Alabama", the organization actively supported legislation in the 2011 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.
Possible Supreme Court runEdit
On May 25, 2011, the Mobile Press-Register reported that Byrne was considering running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012. "I’ve been encouraged to look at it, and I’m doing that. But I’ve made no decision, and frankly I’m no where near a decision at this point," Byrne said. He ultimately did not enter the race.
United States House of RepresentativesEdit
2013 special electionEdit
Byrne finished first in the Republican primary and faced Tea Party candidate Dean Young in the runoff election. Byrne won the runoff, but Young refused to endorse him,[why?] which led to rumors of a rift within the Republican Party. But Byrne subsequently gained the endorsement of Alabama Patriots, a Tea Party-affiliated organization. Byrne faced Democratic Party nominee Burton LeFlore on December 17, 2013. Byrne won the election with 71% of the vote. He is only the sixth person to represent this Mobile-based district since 1919, and continues an unbroken run of Republican control in the district dating to 1965.
Byrne was originally expected to be running for reelection unopposed, but Burton LeFlore, his Democratic opponent in the 2013 special election, qualified. Byrne was reelected with 68% of the vote. The district has a PVI of R+15.
Byrne won the Republican primary with 60.1% over his 2013 challenger Young. He was unopposed in the general election.
Byrne was unopposed in the primary election. He won the general election by 63.15% to 36.78% over Democrat Robert Kennedy, Jr.
Byrne supported a bill that would direct the United States Department of Justice to report to the United States Congress whenever any federal agency refrains from enforcing laws or regulations for any reason. In the report, the government would have to explain why it had decided not to enforce that law. Byrne spoke in favor of the bill, saying, "the Obama Administration has been open and honest about one thing in particular: they have no problem making an end-run around Congress to achieve through administrative means what they cannot legislatively. Placing political convenience above the United States Constitution goes against everything the Founding Fathers intended, and it's time we put a stop to this practice."
Byrne and Mo Brooks had been the only Republican members of the Alabama House delegation to vote in October 2019 against a resolution condemning President Trump for removing U.S. military forces from Syria, which had greatly endangered the Kurdish resistance to the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS).
On October 23, 2019, Gary Palmer, Byrne and Brooks joined about two dozen other House Republicans in aggressively intruding upon that day's confidential hearing in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) where Republican and Democratic congressional members had been taking testimony from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper. Byrne yelled in Representative Adam Schiff's face during the confrontation, to which Schiff did not respond. (He later denied shouting at Schiff, though it was widely reported.) Byrne denounced the impeachment inquiry process as "a sham". Brooks had given an incendiary speech before joining the non-committee Republicans forcing their way into the committee impeachment hearing, where Brooks demanded, "By golly, if they are going to do it, do it in public. Don’t hide it from the American people." One committee member said, "It was the closest thing I've seen around here to mass civil unrest as a member of Congress." The conservatives barged into the hearing room with prohibited electronics devices. Brooks said, "Show your face where we can all see the travesty that you are trying to foist on America and the degradation of our Republic that you're engaged in". Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan said, "The members have just had it, and they want to be able to see and represent their constituents and find out what's going on". House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote to the House Sergeant-at-Arms about Jordan, Byrne, and others, requesting that he take action regarding their "unprecedented breach of security". South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham admonished his House colleagues for their tactic, calling them "nuts" for having made a "run on the SCIF". In the 116th Congress, the chair (Schiff) and 12 Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee were appointed by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who is a committee member ex officio. The House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, also an ex officio member, appointed the ranking member, Devin Nunes, and eight other Republicans to the committee. Each side gets equal time to question witnesses appearing before the committee. The disruption delayed Cooper's testimony by many hours.
- Armed Services Committee
- House Education and Labor Committee
- Subcommittee on Workforce Protections (Ranking member)
- House Rules Committee (2015-2018)
- Republican Study Committee
Byrne is a member of the United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus.
2020 U.S. Senate electionEdit
On February 20, 2019, Byrne announced his candidacy for the 2020 United States Senate election in Alabama, challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones who had won his seat after his Republican challenger Roy Moore had been accused of intended sexual relations with girls as young as 14. Byrne endorsed Moore, not retracting his support after the revelations surfaced. Byrne accused Jones of not supporting "Alabama's interests and Alabama values" in his announcement speech in Mobile.
Byrne supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. He said, "I appreciate President Trump's efforts to address these issues as he works to keep the American people safe. While there have been some issues with the order's implementation, I look forward to working with the Trump Administration to make sure their efforts to protect the American people succeed in a timely and effective manner."
Roy Moore endorsementEdit
In the 2017 Alabama special election to replace Jeff Sessions, whom President Trump appointed to the position of Attorney General of the United States, Byrne endorsed the Republican nominee, Roy Moore. During the campaign at least nine women made allegations that Moore had either sexually assaulted them or made inappropriate romantic or sexual advances toward them while he was an assistant DA and the girls were teenagers as young as 14, or while he was a lawyer and the women were clients. Following the original allegations of sexual impropriety, additional allegations were made including attempted rape of a 16-year-old. Moore denied the allegations and his campaign and supporters began questioning the victims' motives and veracity and claimed they would mount an "investigation" of the women's motives. Immediately following the allegations and instances of victim intimidation, numerous Republicans withdrew endorsements of Moore. Byrne did not withdraw his endorsement or condemn the Moore campaign's victim intimidation threats. On November 15, 2017, Byrne said, "I have no reason to doubt the stories that have been told [by the victims]" but did not rescind his endorsement or call on Moore to drop out of the race. On November 16 Byrne was given the opportunity to withdraw his endorsement but neither withdrew it nor condemned Moore's alleged attack on his victims, noting that it was Byrne's belief that it was up to the citizens of Alabama to make the decision about whom to vote for. In response to Byrne's continuing support of Moore in the face of nine accusers, on November 28 Alabama's statewide newspaper group Al.com began running editorial cartoons titled "I am Roy Moore" with a picture of Byrne and the caption "You condone it, you own it."
Byrne voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. During the bill's debate, Byrne said, "It will lead to greater economic growth, higher wages, and more jobs, which is exactly what the American people sent President Trump and the Republican Congress to Washington to do." Byrne voted for the bill on the grounds that it would lower taxes for all Americans and "pump up wage growth and that'll help wage growth." He said individual incomes would increase as a result of the legislation.
In 2019 Byrne voted against the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He heavily criticized the bill, calling it "radical", "deeply troubling", and "unprecedented", and urged Congress to reject the legislation.
|Alabama Governor Republican Primary Election, 2010|
|Alabama Governor Republican Primary runoff election, 2010|
|Alabama 1st Congressional District Special Republican Primary Election, 2013|
|Alabama 1st Congressional District Special Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2013|
|Alabama 1st Congressional District Special Election, 2013|
|Alabama 1st Congressional District Election, 2014|
|Republican||Bradley Byrne (inc.)||103,758||68.16|
|Alabama 1st Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2016|
|Republican||Bradley Byrne (inc.)||71,310||60.11|
|Alabama 1st Congressional District general election, 2016|
|Republican||Bradley Byrne (inc.)||208,083||96|
|Alabama 1st Congressional District Election, 2018|
|Republican||Bradley Byrne (inc.)||153,228||63.16|
|Democratic||Robert Kennedy Jr.||89,226||36.78|
- Tom Gordon (January 12, 1997). "Win Every Office in State Party Chairman Tells GOP". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. 22A.
- "Full Biography". House.gov. December 11, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- ACCS Press Release: State Board of Education appoints Joan Davis as interim chancellor Archived March 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Byrne for Alabama". Archived from the original on September 18, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- Chandler, Kim (February 20, 2019). "GOP's Byrne to challenge Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama in 2020". Associated Press. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Charles J. Dean (October 9, 1994). "School Board Hopefuls Put Children First". Birmingham News (newspaper). Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham News.
- Charles J. Dean (January 15, 1995). "Time of Change at State School Board Big Decisions Await Panel's Fresh Faces". Birmingham News. Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham News. p. 101.
- Charles J. Dean (March 10, 1995). "Science Curriculum Gets Board Approval". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. 1A.
- Tom Gordon (January 9, 1997). "Education Board's Byrne Will Join GOP Today". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. 1B.
- Gary Mitchell (January 16, 2002). "SBOE's Byrne enters GOP Race for Lipscomb's Seat". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. State and Regional.
- "Alabama Senate Results". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. November 7, 2002. p. News.
- George Altman (May 25, 2007). "Byrne takes over". Mobile Register (newspaper). Mobile, Alabama. p. B1.
- George R. Altman (September 12, 2008). "Auditors: Bishop showing progress". Mobile register (newspaper). Mobile, AL: the Mobile Press register. p. B1.
- "Attorney general King announces lawsuit to recover funds stolen by defendants in postsecondary corruption cases". US States News (newspaper).
- "Alabama Gov. Candidate Attacked for Belief in Evolution". CBS News.
- "Bradley Byrne joins Jones Walker law firm" (newspaper). AL.com. August 16, 2010.
- "Despite losing GOP nomination for governor, Bradley Byrne still pressing for reforms". The Huntsville Times. Huntsville, AL. February 24, 2011.
- "Reform Alabama Legislation".
- "Alabama Supreme Court race has lawyers buzzing". Mobile Press-Register. Mobile, AL. May 25, 2011.
- Talbot, George (May 23, 2013). "Rep. Jo Bonner resignation stuns constituents, sparks candidates". AL.com. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Kirby, Brendan (November 12, 2013). "Tea party group backs Byrne for Congress, disputes notion of rift in GOP". Mobile Press-Register. Alabama Media Group. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- Jessica Sawyer (November 5, 2013). "Byrne wins, Young concedes in Alabama-01 Republican runoff" (Digital). AL.com. Alabama Media Group, LLC. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Sullivan, Sean (December 17, 2013). "Republican Bradley Byrne wins Alabama special election". The Washington Post. Washington, DC. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- "List of candidates for major Alabama offices". ABC 3340. February 8, 2014. Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "Alabama Democrats". Alabama Democratic Party. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "Certified General Election Results" (PDF). Alabama Secretary of State. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "2016 Primary Election Official Results, March 1, 2016". Alabama Secretary of State. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- Johnson, Cheryl L. (February 28, 2019). "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 2018". Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- "H.R. 3973 – CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Kasperowicz, Pete (March 7, 2014). "House targets Obama's law enforcement". The Hill. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Moseley, Brandon (February 12, 2014). "Byrne Co-Sponsors Act to Stop Selective Enforcement of the Law By Obama". Alabama Political Reporter. Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- All but two Alabama Republican congressmen vote to condemn Trump’s Syria exit, AL.com, Eddie Burkhalter, October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- Reps. Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne at forefront of GOP charge into impeachment room, AL.com, Paul Gattis, October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- Chaotic scene as Republicans disrupt impeachment deposition, Washington Post, Michael Balsamo and Mary Clare Jalonick (Associated Press), October 24, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- Total SCIF Show: The GOP's Raid Puts National Security at Risk, Wired.com, Brian Barrett, October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- Jim Jordan defends GOP lawmakers who stormed impeachment inquiry room, Fox News, Charles Creitz, October 24, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- Chaotic scene as Republicans disrupt impeachment deposition, AL.com, October 24, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- House Floor Activities, January 3, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- House Floor Activities, January 16, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- After Republicans storm hearing room, Defense official testifies in impeachment inquiry, CNN, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- "Member List". Retrieved November 6, 2017.
- "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "Roy Moore gets endorsements from Alabama Republicans in Congress". Al.com. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
- Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- "Roy Moore gets endorsements from Alabama Republicans in Congress". Al.com. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Blinder, Alan (November 15, 2017). "4 More Women Accuse Roy Moore of Misconduct". Retrieved November 18, 2017 – via www.NYTimes.com.
- McCrummen, Stephanie; Reinhard, Beth; Crites, Alice (November 9, 2017). "Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32". Retrieved November 16, 2017 – via www.WashingtonPost.com.
- Martin, Jonathan; Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (November 13, 2017). "Roy Moore Is Accused of Sexual Misconduct by a Fifth Woman". Retrieved November 16, 2017 – via www.NYTimes.com.
- CNN, Susannah Cullinane,. "Moore threatens to sue Washington Post over report". CNN.com. Retrieved November 16, 2017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- Merelli, Annalisa. "Here's how Republicans are responding to the allegations against Roy Moore". QZ.com. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Which GOP politicians still support Roy Moore? Who withdrew endorsements?". Al.com. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Hooper, Molly K. (November 14, 2017). "WATCH: GOP Alabama rep: 'No reason to doubt' Moore's accusers". TheHill.com. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
- "Bradley Byrne: Roy Moore is the voters' decision, not mine". Al.com. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
- "I am Roy Moore: U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne". AL.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Kirby, Brendan (December 20, 2017). "Tax cuts will create 4,600 Alabama jobs, raise family income across the state by $519, study says - Yellowhammer News". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Turley, Kendra. "Mixed reaction to revised GOP tax reform bill". Fox10. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217
- "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
- Congressman Bradley Byrne official U.S. House site
- Bradley Byrne for Congress
- Bradley Byrne at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 1st congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority