Rep. Rooney’s Brother to Run for Congress in Michigan

Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:15pm

Attorney Brian Rooney (R), brother of Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), is filing paperwork Friday to join the race for Michigan’s 7th district seat.Brian Rooney plans to do a formal campaign launch next week, likely Thursday, in Jackson, Mich., where his campaign will be headquartered. Then, the following week, he’ll head off on a tour around the southern Michigan district, which includes Battle Creek and suburbs of Ann Arbor.Rooney, an Iraq War veteran, will face former Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and likely Bill Martin, CEO of the Michigan Association of Realtors, in the Republican primary. Walberg lost to freshman Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) by two points in 2008 and is hoping to turn the tables this time around.Schauer succeeded in painting Walberg as too conservative for the district in the last race. Rooney doesn’t have a particularly centrist profile, either: He works for the Thomas More Law Center, a nonprofit public interest law firm that seeks to be the conservative Christian counterbalance to the American Civil Liberties Union.Rooney adviser Jason Roe said the Michigan district is ready for a fresh face. He said Rooney will focus on a handful of key concerns, including national security, improving the health care system and the “reckless spending— coming out of Washington, D.C.Schauer is vulnerable in a traditionally Republican-leaning district. But he won’t be caught off guard — the Democrat has already raised more $1 million and ended September with more than $900,000 in cash on hand.