Trump Endorses Arizona Rep. Martha Roby Despite Past Lack of Support

Rep. Martha Roby’s past lack of support for President Doanld Trump has threatened her reelection hopes this year. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has endorsed Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, giving her a major boost in a primary battle in which she’s come under attack over her past lack of allegiance to the president.

“Congresswoman Martha Roby of Alabama has been a consistent and reliable vote for our Make America Great Again Agenda,” Trump wrote in a Friday morning tweet. “She is in a Republican Primary run-off against a recent Nancy Pelosi voting Democrat. I fully endorse Martha for Alabama 2nd Congressional District!”

The endorsement was a surprising one for the president, who over the course of the midterm year has been promoting candidates who have demonstrated loyalty to him.

Roby hasn’t always been supportive of the president. She withdrew her support for then-candidate Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in October 2016 in which Trump could be heard speaking in 2005 about grabbing women without their consent. At the time, the incensed congresswoman called Trump “unacceptable” and said she wouldn’t vote for him.

Roby’s past lack of support has threatened her reelection hopes this year. She’s been forced into a July 17 runoff against Republican Bobby Bright, a former congressman who Roby unseated in 2010.

The Friday morning endorsement followed a lobbying effort from House GOP leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, both of whom Roby is close to.

Trump’s support wasn’t a guarantee: People close to the White House said the president initially needed to be convinced to give his endorsement.

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SOURCE: Politico, Alex Isenstadt