Outgoing Rep. Francis Rooney aims to focus on Latin American affairs

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:
Congressman Francis Rooney. (Credit: CBS News)
Rep. Francis Rooney (Credit: CBS News)

Out with the old, in with the new. Byron Donalds is moving to Washington after winning Francis Rooney’s US House District 19 seat.

In an exclusive WINK News interview, Rep. Rooney said, “I’ve known Byron for some time. I have a great deal of respect for him. I think he will do a good job of representing our area.”

Rooney believes President Donald Trump did damage to the Republican Party and said Donalds has work to do – the party has work to do.

“I think he’s narrowed the base and I worry about that for the long run,” he said. “When I see increasing voting blocks of younger people and suburban people, we used to count on suburban people as a big part of our base and I think we need to work to get that back.”

Even though he admits the president did surprisingly well in Florida. “I think we saw the importance of the Venezuelan community in Duval and west Miami, and with the two congressional districts that flipped. Total surprise.”

He believes this election is fair. “I haven’t seen any evidence of fraud.”

Rooney said, now, he is going to spend more time with his family but he’s not leaving the political world behind, adding, “I want to be involved in Latin American affairs. I’ll probably join a few think tanks that deal with Latin America and the environment.”

The environment was Rooney’s focal point in Washington. He says it’s what made his service worth it.

Rooney also says he believes in everything he’s done – even if it wasn’t always 100% accepted.

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