2003 - 2011
Robert Renfroe Riley was born and raised in the small Clay County town of Ashland, Alabama where his family has lived on ranches and farms for six generations.
After graduating from the University of Alabama at age 20 with a degree in business administration, he returned to his hometown, married his high school sweetheart and started a small business with his brother selling eggs door-to-door. That small, family-owned venture grew to become one of the largest integrated poultry operations in the Southeast.
For 32 years, Riley ran a number of successful businesses including a trucking company, a car dealership, a real estate company, a grocery store and a small pharmacy. He’s also been a cattleman for the last 25 years, having more than 400-head of cattle on his Ashland ranch.
In 1996, when Alabama needed leaders to fundamentally change the course of government in Washington, Bob Riley, a political unknown, answered the call. Riley, then 52, ran a successful Congressional campaign in his first run for state or national office. He became the first Republican Congressman since Reconstruction to be re-elected to Alabama’s 3rd District in 1998. By 2000, Riley’s popularity swelled and as a result, he garnered nearly 90 percent of the vote and faced no major party opposition.
In Congress, Riley was recognized as a strong conservative and a leader on tax issues, such as eliminating the marriage tax penalty and abolishing the death tax. He also earned a reputation as a cordial negotiator, bringing both Republicans and Democrats together for common national purposes. He also served as Vice Chairman of the influential House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Readiness.
At the outset of his Congressional career, Riley, a strong supporter of term limits, pledged to serve no more than three terms in Washington. He’s keeping his promise and returning to Alabama, ready to take on the challenges of state government. Bob Riley has been very active serving his community as both a Shriner and a Mason. He and his family are members of the First Baptist Church of Ashland, where he taught the men's Sunday School class for a number of years and also served as Chairman of the Church’s Board of Trustees.
Riley is married to the former Patsy Adams, also from Clay County. The Rileys were blessed with four children, Rob, Jenice, Minda and Krisalyn. Jenice, the Rileys' first daughter and the campaign's fundraiser, passed away in August 2001 after inspiring hundreds of people through her courageous fight against cancer. The Rileys are also the proud grandparents of two granddaughters and one grandson.
In July 2011 Riley registered with the Alabama Ethics Commission as a lobbyist working on behalf of
Austal USA, a company building warships for the Navy at its shipyard in Mobile, and EADS North America, a manufaturer of refueling tanker aircraft for the Air Force in Mobile.