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In the wake of Rooney’s announcement: Interesting times ahead

October 30, 2019
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Congressman Francis Rooney surprised a lot of people last week when he announced that he will retire at the end of his second term, thus opening the District 19 House seat for a new rep to be elected in the 2020 General Election.

The congressman cited two reasons for his decision not to seek re-election.

First, Congressman Rooney said he has accomplished the two primary goals he set for himself and Southwest Florida when he first sought office in 2016 - overwhelming House support for a permanent moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and commitment for ongoing funding for Everglades Restoration projects with $1.1 billion secured so far.

Second, Congressman Rooney said he is a firm believer in term limits. He said he both supported and sponsored such legislation during his congressional tenure, adding ... "like the founders of our republic, I believe in the concept of citizen legislators who commit to public service and not public life."

Our thanks for the accomplishments stated and kudos for walking the walk of a public service philosophy that seldom gets off the bench once a seat has been won.

Still, while we understand and admire his reasoning, count us among those who are disappointed by the announcement.

Congressman Rooney has proven himself to be what has become a rarity among elected officials on both sides of the aisle.

Party loyalist?

Absolutely.

Adherent of party philosophy and platform?

Yes, again.

And again.

Rubber stamp?

Not quite.

Not when the politically correct path has pointed away from the direction of his personal moral compass.

The next year is shaping up to be an interesting one, both for Congressman Rooney and our country.

It's already proving interesting for District 19 constituents who have been immediately presented with a plethora of possible replacements - many immersed in the political waters of partisan politics to the gills.

Here's hoping the candidate of choice won't be a little happier to wade the waters of the swamp than we imagine Congressman Rooney was.

We suspect we, and Southwest Florida, are going to miss him.

We wish him well as he leans into his final year in the U.S House.

-Observer editorial

 
 

 

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