Tabitha Isner made her way into Troy to campaign, hosting a canvassing event for her effort to represent the 2nd Congressional District of Alabama in the House.
Isner, the Democratic nominee, spent the lunch hour Saturday at Mama Goldberg’s on the Square, where she talked to constituents and canvassers who volunteered to help her campaign.
Jessica Stein, a sophomore marketing major from Murphysboro, Illinois, was there to help with canvassing, wearing a blue “Tabitha Isner for Congress” shirt.
“She wants to talk to her voters,” Stein said. “She wants to help people, honestly. Overall, I think the biggest reason why I support Tabitha is just because she really cares about the opinions of people in this district, whether it be a more conservative opinion or a liberal opinion.
“She wants to hear everyone’s voices, not just the people on her side.”
Isner is aware of the odds in the upcoming election—she goes against incumbent Republican Martha Roby, who has held her position since 2011.
“It’s not really about how many Democrats and Republicans there are; it’s more about the tone of conversation and the assumption of a one-party dominance,” Isner said. “College students are in a great position. When you’re in college, you’re in a community where open dialogue and disagreement is the culture, what you’re supposed to be doing.
“You’re supposed to be questioning things, engaging in conversations and hypotheticals. I think if we could engage that, expand that kind of conversation to the rest of Alabama, it would make a huge difference in our culture.”
Isner said college students must take local politics seriously, as getting older affords students the option to make choices about policies.
“I think that’s the right time to start thinking about what kind of world you want to live in role in making it the place you want to see.”
Laura Binford, the Isner campaign field director, says she believes in Isner but not just because she is the boss.
“I have worked for candidates in the past who I supported their message, but I was like, ‘You’re not really a good person, but you’re the best option,’” Binford said. “Tabitha is good to her core, and you can just feel it when you talk to her.
“You can just tell she is a genuine person and she wants the best for everyone. “
Some voters may be surprised to learn Isner is not originally an Alabamian and may consider it a weakness, but she says otherwise.
“When I walk into a place, I don’t assume what’s going on… I talk to people without preconceptions,” she said.
She said that her inclination to ask questions and listen sets her apart, especially in a district with 700,000 people.
“Being a good listener and knowing you’re not the expert on everything in the district is the key to being a good representative.”
Martha Roby does not currently have Troy University listed on her schedule, but all of her travel dates are not yet finalized, according to her communications director, Emily Taylor Johnson.
The Tropolitan will continue to keep track of candidates’ campaign visits for the Nov. 6 election.