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August 15, 2008

Crist to endorse Rooney

Florida governor Charlie Crist will be endorsing attorney Tom Rooney this afternoon, actively injecting himself in the competitive Republican primary for the right to challenge freshman Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.).

Rooney is facing a hotly-contested primary against state Rep. Gayle Harrell and Palm Beach Gardens city councilman Hal Valeche, who has already poured $500,000 of his own money into the race. 

Rooney began the campaign as an early favorite, but hasn’t been able to pull away from his two rivals. His fundraising has lagged behind expectations, and has been attacked from his right on social issues by the self-funding Valeche. And Harrell, witha moderate record in the Florida legislature, is also a viable candidate.

The winner of the primary will face a significant financial disadvantage against Mahoney, who has $1.04 million in his campaign account.