Rooney says the environment is his political legacy. Will the next congressperson?

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:
FILE: Congressman Francis Rooney talks about water quality at FGCU. (Credit: WINK News/FILE)
FILE: Congressman Francis Rooney talks about water quality at FGCU. (Credit: WINK News/FILE)

From a church in Bonta Springs talking health care to the Lee County Emergency Operations Center weighing in on nuclear threat, to debris in Collier County post-Hurricane Irma, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Florida, has seen nearly every corner of Southwest Florida. But now, he said it is time to walk away.

“I’ve done the things I’ve said I would do and I do believe in term limits,” Rooney, 65, said. “And I think it’s time for me to move on and for someone else to pick up the ball and move forward.”

The congressman is a champion of the Everglades and an opponent of offshore drilling. Rooney said congress is not the place to make change anymore. He told WINK News that being a donor is more impactful now.

Rooney is one of the only republican congressmen that said he is open to impeaching President Donald Trump. Yet, he knows that does not make him popular with many constituents in his district. “My message to them is that it has never worked out in history to messianically follow someone and I don’t,” Rooney said. “History has not served us well with blind loyalty.”

The Republican for the 19th district of Florida calls the environment his political legacy. But he said, when he looks back on his life, family comes first before a political title in Washington. “I have three children and our business and we’re doing all kinds of great things,” Rooney said. “And that at the end of the day, that’s a whole lot more important to me than anything.”

Who will replace Rooney?

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.