Spencer Roach a ‘hard no’ on running for Congress in 2020

Spencer Roach-01
But lots of other candidates remain in the mix.

New prospects seem to come up everyday on who may run for an open Southwest Florida Congressional seat. But one pol is out of the mix — state Rep. Spencer Roach.

The North Fort Myers Republican said he’s got too much left to do in Tallahassee to consider a bid for U.S. House.

“I’m not running. I’m a hard no,” he said.

Florida’s 19th Congressional District turned into a hotbed of political speculation this week after U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney said he won’t not seek a third term.

Roach’s decision comes less than a week after saying he may run, so long as state Rep. Dane Eagle did not. While Eagle hasn’t made up his mind yet, Roach said the enormous list of prospects made him think again about entering the contest.

Those openly pondering a run include state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, state Reps. Eagle, Byron Donalds and Bob Rommel, Lee County Commissioners Cecile Pendergrass and South Florida Water Management District member Chancey Goss.

Meanwhile, the list of rumored candidates that at least someone wants running for Congress is longer. Former Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, state Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, former state Rep. Gary Aubuchon and radio host Drew Steele have all been suggested as potential candidates.

“It’s going to be a dogfight of a primary,” Roach predicts. “Right now, I think the more accurate question than ‘Who is getting in?’ is ‘Who is not running?’”

With many local lawmakers in the mix, Roach has no interest in issuing too early an endorsement.

The freshman lawmaker said his focus right now has to be on the coming 2020 Legislative Session. Lawmakers already are holding committee meetings.

“I’m just continuing to do the job I was hired to do by the people of District 79,” Roach said.

Roach for the moment does not face any challengers to reelection in 2020.

While he won’t run for Congress this year, he said there’s a significant pool of talent in the mix.

“Having a number of qualified candidates to vote for would be a great problem to have,” he said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Larry Gillis, Cape Coral

    October 26, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    IT’S THE DEFICIT, STUPID. Thanks for the shopping list of Republican possibles. I predict that NONE of the possibles is gonna use the Trillion-Dollar Deficit as the backbone of their campaign, because that would not allow them to promise even more goodies. The same goes for the Democrats (remember them?).

    Libertarians, on the other hand, recognize that the Deficit is the central sympton of the underlying problem, which is the Entitlement Mentality.

Comments are closed.


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