On October 19, Rep. Francis Rooney (R) announced that he would not seek re-election in Florida’s 19th Congressional District in 2020. He was first elected to Congress in 2016; he won an open-seat race to replace Rep. Curt Clawson (R). Rooney won his second term in 2018 with 62.3% of the general election vote.
Rooney’s announcement was made on the Fox News television channel. He said, “I’ve done what I came to do. And I want to be a model for term limits. […] I thought the idea was you came and did your public service and left, you accomplish what you want to accomplish and you left. And that’s what I want to be an example to do. And I’m also really tired of the intense partisanship that seems to stop us from solving the big questions that America needs solved.”
His retirement creates an open-seat race in the district. The candidate filing deadline to run is June 12, 2020. The primary is scheduled for August 18, and the general election is on November 3, 2020.
Rooney is the 18th Republican member of the U.S. House to announce he would not seek re-election in 2020. Six Democratic members of the U.S. House have also announced their intention not to seek re-election.
Democrats hold a 234-197 majority in the U.S. House with three vacancies and one independent member of the chamber. In November 2020, all 435 seats will be up for election. Ballotpedia has identified 71 U.S. House races as general election battlegrounds. Of the 71 seats, 42 are held by Democrats and 29 are held by Republicans.