Once U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney wraps up his final term in Washington, he may have a spot waiting on the bench instead.

The Palm Beach County Bar Association reports Rooney among the list of applicants for a county court vacancy created by Dana Santino’s removal from the bench in July.

“I’ve been thinking about this for a while, trying to prepare for life after Congress,” Rooney told Sunshine State News. “And then a few weeks ago this vacancy came up.”

The Okeechobee Republican surprised the political world in February when he announced he would not seek re-election in Florida’s 17th Congressional District.

Interestingly, his nine-county district no longer includes any part of Palm Beach County, but Rooney told Sunshine State News that he and his family rent a place in Palm Beach Gardens, and he will buy a home in Palm Beach County as soon as he sells a house in Washington, D.C.

Rooney graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1999 and remains a member in good standing with the Florida Bar.

Rooney and 31 other applicants for the county post will interview with the Judicial

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