Bradley Byrne

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Bradley Byrne
Rep Bradley Byrne.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 1st district
Assumed office
December 17, 2013
Preceded by Jo Bonner
Member of the Alabama Senate
from the 32nd district
In office
November 2002 – January 2007
Preceded by Albert Lipscomb
Succeeded by Trip Pittman
Personal details
Born (1955-02-16) February 16, 1955 (age 62)
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Democratic (Before 1998)
Republican (1998–present)
Spouse(s) Rebecca Byrne
Children 4
Education Duke University (BA)
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (JD)

Bradley Roberts Byrne (born February 16, 1955) is a business attorney and Republican congressman for Alabama's 1st congressional district. He served as chancellor of the Alabama Community College System from 2007 until his resignation in 2009 to run for the 2010 Republican nomination for Governor of Alabama.[1][2] He was also a member of the Alabama State Senate from 2003 to 2007. He holds a degree from Duke University, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and he also attended the University of Alabama.[3] In December 2013, he won a special election to represent Alabama's 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Political background[edit]

Byrne's first run for elective office was in 1994 was a success when he ran for the Alabama State Board of Education as a Democrat.[3][4] During his term on the State 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." [5] 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.[5] However Byrne later changed his mind and convinced the Board to allow the money.[6]

In 1997 Byrne left the Democratic party and became a Republican.[7]

In 2002 Byrne ran for an Alabama State Senate seat, representing part of Baldwin County.[8] He won with 91% of the vote over his Democratic challenger.[9]

Efforts against corruption[edit]

In May 2007, Byrne took the position of community college chancellor [10] 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 would be charged before the probe ended in May 2007 [10][11]

Byrne also worked with Alabama Attorney General Troy King to recover monies stolen from the community college system.[12]

2010 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

During the campaign, he was accused by his opponents in the Republican primary of supporting evolution and of doubting that the Bible was infallible. "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.[13]

Post-election activity[edit]

Following the run-off, Byrne went back to practicing business law, joining the Jones Walker law firm on August 16, 2010.[14]

Reform Alabama[edit]

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.[15] Named "Reform Alabama", the organization actively supported legislation in the 2011 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.[16]

Possible Supreme Court run[edit]

A May 25, 2011 Mobile Press-Register article reported that Byrne was considering the possibility of running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in the upcoming 2012 election. "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.[17]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2013 special election[edit]

On May 23, 2013, U.S. Representative Jo Bonner announced that he would resign, effective on August 15, 2013.[18]

Byrne finished first in the Republican primary—the real contest in this heavily Republican district—and faced Tea Party candidate Dean Young in the runoff election. Byrne won the runoff, but Young refused to endorse him, 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.[19] Byrne won the Republican nomination for the congressional seat and faced Democratic Party nominee Burton LeFlore on December 17, 2013.[20][21] Byrne won the election with 71% of the vote.[21] 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.

2014[edit]

Byrne was originally believed to be running for re-election unopposed, but Burton LeFlore, his Democratic opponent in the 2013 special election, managed to qualify.[22][23]

Byrne won re-election with 68% of the vote.[24]

Tenure[edit]

Byrne supported the Faithful Execution of the Law Act of 2014 (H.R. 3973; 113th Congress), 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.[25] In the report, the government would have to explain why it had decided not to enforce that law.[26] Byrne spoke out 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."[27]

Legislation[edit]

Byrne has sponsored two bills of his own:[28]

  • H.R. 4465, a bill to set catch limits for the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery, introduced April 10, 2014
  • H.R. 5510, a bill to require recognized accrediting agencies or associations that evaluate the quality of distance or correspondence education programs to require those programs to have a secure login and passcode for Internet coursework, introduced September 17, 2014

Committee assignments[edit]

Political stances[edit]

National security[edit]

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 stated that “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.”[29]

Electoral history[edit]

Alabama Governor Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bradley Byrne 137,451 27.89
Republican Robert Bentley 123,958 25.15
Republican Tim James 123,792 25.12
Republican Roy Moore 95,163 19.31
Republican Bill Johnson 8,362 1.70
Republican Charles Taylor 2,622 0.53
Republican James Potts 1,549 0.31
Alabama Governor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Bentley 261,233 56.09
Republican Bradley Byrne 204,503 43.91
Alabama 1st Congressional District Special Republican Primary Election, 2013
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bradley Byrne 18,090 34.57
Republican Dean Young 12,011 22.95
Republican Chad Fincher 8,177 15.63
Republican Quin Hillyer 7,260 13.87
Republican Wells Griffith 5,758 11.00
Republican Daniel Dyas 391 0.75
Republican Jessica James 391 0.75
Republican Sharon Powe 184 0.35
Republican David Thornton 72 0.14
Alabama 1st Congressional District Special Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2013
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bradley Byrne 38,150 52.50
Republican Dean Young 34,534 47.50
Alabama 1st Congressional District Special Election, 2013
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bradley Byrne 36,042 71.00
Democratic Burton LeFlore 14,968 29.00
Alabama 1st Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bradley Byrne (inc.) 103,758 68.16
Democratic Burton LeFlore 48,278 31.71
Write-ins Write-ins 198 0.13
Alabama 1st Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bradley Byrne (inc.) 71,310 60.11
Republican Dean Young 47,319 39.89
Alabama 1st Congressional District General Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bradley Byrne (inc.) 208,083 96
No Party Write Ins 7,810 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ ACCS Press Release: State Board of Education appoints Joan Davis as interim chancellor
  2. ^ "Byrne for Alabama". Archived from the original on September 18, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Charles J. Dean (October 9, 1994). "School Board Hopefuls Put Children First". Birmingham News (newspaper). Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham News. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b Charles J. Dean (March 10, 1995). "Science Curriculum Gets Board Approval". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. 1A. 
  6. ^ Tom Gordon (January 9, 1997). "Education Board's Byrne Will Join GOP Today". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. 1B. 
  7. ^ Tom Gordon (January 12, 1997). "Win Every Office in State Party Chairman Tells GOP". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. 22A. 
  8. ^ Gary Mitchell (January 16, 2002). "SBOE's Byrne enters GOP Race for Lipscomb's Seat". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. p. State and Regional. 
  9. ^ "Alabama Senate Results". Birmingham News. Birmingham News. November 7, 2002. p. News. 
  10. ^ a b George Altman (May 25, 2007). "Byrne takes over". Mobile Register (newspaper). Mobile, Alabama. p. B1. 
  11. ^ George R. Altman (September 12, 2008). "Auditors: Bishop showing progress". Mobile register (newspaper). Mobile, AL: the Mobile Press register. p. B1. 
  12. ^ "Attorney general King announces lawsuit to recover funds stolen by defendants in postsecondary corruption cases". US States News (newspaper). 
  13. ^ "Alabama Gov. Candidate Attacked for Belief in Evolution". CBS News. 
  14. ^ "Bradley Byrne joins Jones Walker law firm" (newspaper). AL.com. August 16, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Despite losing GOP nomination for governor, Bradley Byrne still pressing for reforms". The Huntsville Times. Huntsville, AL. February 24, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Reform Alabama Legislation". 
  17. ^ "Alabama Supreme Court race has lawyers buzzing". Mobile Press-Register. Mobile, AL. May 25, 2011. 
  18. ^ Talbot, George (May 23, 2013). "Rep. Jo Bonner resignation stuns constituents, sparks candidates". AL.com. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ a b Sullivan, Sean (December 17, 2013). "Republican Bradley Byrne wins Alabama special election". The Washington Post. Washington, DC. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ "List of candidates for major Alabama offices". ABC 3340. February 8, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Alabama Democrats". Alabama Democratic Party. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Certified General Election Results" (PDF). Alabama Secretary of State. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  25. ^ "H.R. 3973 – CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  26. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (7 March 2014). "House targets Obama's law enforcement". The Hill. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  27. ^ Moseley, Brandon (12 February 2014). "Byrne Co-Sponsors Act to Stop Selective Enforcement of the Law By Obama". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  28. ^ "Representative Byrne's Legislation". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  29. ^ Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump’s travel ban; here’s where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jo Bonner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 1st congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Katherine Clark
United States Representatives by seniority
318th
Succeeded by
Alma Adams