Tom Rooney (politician) - U.S. House of Representatives - Elections


See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Florida, 2008#District 16

Rooney challenged Democratic incumbent Tim Mahoney. Mahoney had narrowly won the Republican-leaning district in 2006, after former Congressman Mark Foley abruptly resigned under a cloud of scandal. Florida election law required Foley's name to remain on the general election ballot, with votes for him being transferred to his replacement, State Representative Joe Negron. It was widely believed that this significantly undermined Negron's chances, as many voters would be reluctant to cast a ballot in Foley's name.

Given Mahoney's narrow margin of victory, coupled with the unusual circumstances surrounding the 2006 election, the 16th District was viewed as one of Republicans' best opportunities to take a congressional seat from the Democrats in 2008. In the Republican Party primary, Rooney was endorsed by Florida's Governor, Charlie Crist and defeated State Representative Gayle Harrell and investment banker Hal Valeche. Mahoney, aided by incumbency and having burnished his image as a moderate Blue Dog Democrat, consistently led Rooney in polls throughout the 2008 election cycle until mid-October 2008, when it was revealed that Mahoney, who had promoted a family values image and campaigned against corruption in contrast to the disgraced Foley, had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs and secretly paid off his mistresses to conceal them. This revelation shifted the race decisively in Rooney's favor, even causing the Palm Beach Post to take the rare step of rescinding its previous endorsement of Mahoney and endorsing Rooney instead.

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Florida, 2010#District 16

Rooney ran unopposed in the Republican primary. In the general election, he defeated Democratic nominee Jim Horn and write-in candidate William Dean.

See also: United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections_in_Florida,_2012#District_17

Rooney chose to run in the safely Republican 17th district. Approximately one-third of the reapportioned District 17 voters are from Rooney's current District 16. He faced an Aug. 14 primary challenge from Joe Arnold, a Republican state committeeman for Okeechobee County and member of the school board. Rooney defeated Arnold in a landslide, getting 74% of vote. Rooney runs in the general election against a retired airline pilot, Democrat William Bronson (formerly an unsuccessful Republican candidate in Massachusetts and Georgia) as well as Socialist Workers Party write-in candidate Tom Baumann (who ran unsuccessful campaigns in Minnesota and in the Borough of Manhattan).

Rooney received endorsements in Florida from Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Reps. Allen West and Dennis A. Ross as well as from the National Rifle Association. In their Saturday, October 13, edition the Tampa Bay Times recommended Tom Rooney for the District 17 seat, and on October 19, The Tampa Tribune endorsed him. The Bradenton Herald recommended Rooney on 26 October.

Read more about this topic:  Tom Rooney (politician), U.S. House of Representatives

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