A once and possible future presidential hopeful threw his support behind former Amb. Francis Rooney’s congressional bid on Monday.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced he was backing Rooney in the Republican primary to replace retiring Congressman Curt Clawson. Rooney, a businessman who served as ambassador to the Vatican, faces Chauncy Goss who served on the Sanibel City Council and whose father represented Southwest Florida in Congress and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino who ran for federal office in Maryland in 2012 and 2014 in the primary at the end of the month.
“The stakes for our nation’s future are very high and we need leaders with core conservative convictions and commitment to changing the direction of America,” Walker said in his endorsement. “Francis has the experience that will help Southwest Florida families on the economic and national security fronts. He will work tirelessly to challenge the status quo, preserve and defend the Constitution, and advocate for the values that have made our country great.”
“I am proud to have the support of Gov. Walker who has been relentless in the fight to defend conservative values, and I’m honored that he has expressed confidence in me,” said Rooney. “The governor has spent years battling bureaucracy and has proven time and again that he is a courageous leader that gets things done.”
Walker became popular with Republicans across the nation for his battles with government employee unions and successfully holding off efforts to recall him. But, despite high expectations, Walker flopped as a presidential candidate, bowing out of the race long before the Iowa caucus. Despite that, Walker is generating some buzz for a second try at the presidency down the road.
Rooney has reeled in the support of much of the Republican leadership. Besides Walker, two other former Republican presidential hopefuls--Dr. Ben Carson and businesswoman Carly Fiorina--have thrown their support to Rooney. So has Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton who is also considered a potential Republican presidential hopeful in future election cycles. Other Rooney backers include Gov. Rick Scott, former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III and his son former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV.
Whoever wins the Republican primary at the end of the month will be a heavy favorite in this solidly GOP district over Democrat Robert Neeld in November.