News & Election Videos

August 26, 2008

It's Mahoney v. Rooney

Tom Rooney, the grandson of Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney, narrowly prevailed in a hotly-contested Republican primary for the right to challenge freshman Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.).

With all precincts reporting, Rooney defeated his leading rival, state Rep. Gayle Harrell by a two-point margin, 37 to 35 percent. Palm Beach Gardens city councilman Hal Valeche, who spent much of his own fortune to contest the seat, finished in third with 28 percent.

Rooney benefited from a late endorsement from Florida's popular Republican governor, Charlie Crist.

Republicans believe Mahoney is one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Representing a GOP-leaning district, he won election in 2006 in light of the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley.

But Rooney starts the general election with a huge financial disadvantage. Rooney is nearly broke from the primary, while Mahoney has over $1 million in his campaign account.