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 the far northern suburbs of Birmingham, as well as the southern suburbs of Huntsville and Decatur.
Aderholt was born in Haleyville, where he still lives, 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, and his wife's father was a state commissioner and senator. He attended the University of North Alabama and then Birmingham-Southern College where he graduated.
During college, Aderholt was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. Aderholt received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and practiced law after graduation. In 1992, Aderholt was appointed Haleyville municipal judge, and in 1995 become the top aide to Governor Fob James. With that experience, he won the Republican primary in the race to succeed 15-term Democratic incumbent Tom Bevill, who retired from Congress in 1996. Aderholt also endorsed a candidate for circuit judgeship in Blount County, Steven King. Though the move was controversial, King won the judgeship. Aderholt was subsequently criticized by many for endorsing someone that was not from his own district.
Aderholt's voting record is generally conservative, however his vote on economic issues has 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 antidumping duties on foreign steel in 1999. He reached out further to industrial unions with his vote against PNTR with China. Aderholt's most notable success has been the continued protection of the sock industry, based out of Fort Payne, Alabama.
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. Aderholt is a staunch supporter and confidant of "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore, whose home is in Gadsden, the longtime political center of the district. Moore joined Aderholt when Aderholt introduced the Constitution Restoration Act, controversial legislation which would remove issues regarding the First Amendment to the Constitution from the reach of the Federal Courts. Aderholt has become very popular in his district, even though it still has a sizable majority of registered Democrats. However, most of the district's voters are very conservative on social issues. Aderholt voted in favor of CAFTA, 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.
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". In a culturally conservative district, Aderholt didn't hedge on cultural issues.
This was a seriously contested district, 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%, and hasn't faced serious opposition since.
Aderholt is ran unopposed, and "won".
He has joined the Tea Party Caucus.
Aderholt is married to the former Caroline McDonald. They have two children. The Aderholts live in Arlington, Virginia.