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Tim Mahoney

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 16th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Mark Foley
Succeeded by Tom Rooney

Born August 15, 1956 (1956-08-15) (age 53)
Aurora, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Terry Mahoney (separated)
Children Bailey Mahoney
Residence Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Alma mater West Virginia University, George Washington University
Occupation Computer executive,
financial executive
Religion Methodist

Timothy Edward "Tim" Mahoney (born August 15, 1956) was a U.S. Representative for Florida's 16th congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party. He was elected in November 2006 after his opponent, six-term Republican incumbent Mark Foley, resigned on September 29, 2006, after questions were raised about an email exchange with a congressional page.

In October 2008, media outlets began reporting allegations that Mahoney paid hush money to a mistress to conceal an extramarital affair.[1][2]

Tim Mahoney ran for reelection in 2008 but lost the November 4 election to Republican Tom Rooney.


Early life and career

Mahoney was born in Aurora, Illinois. He grew up in Summit, New Jersey, and graduated from Summit High School in 1974. He obtained a bachelors degree in computer science and business from West Virginia University in 1978 and an M.B.A. from George Washington University in 1983.[3]

Mahoney began his career in the computer business. After seven years, he achieved wealth when a company he was working for, Tecmar, which sold personal computer accessories, was sold. In 1986, he moved to Florida and became president of Rodime Systems, a division of Rodime Inc. Rodime Inc., for which Mahoney was also vice president of marketing and sales, manufactured disc drives that were packaged for the retail market by Rodime Systems. In 1995, Mahoney and business partner, Lenny Sokolow, started Union Atlantic, LLC, a venture capital firm. His inability to get the firm listed on, a fledgling matchmaking Web site for venture capitalists and cash-hungry entrepreneurs, led him and Sokolow to purchase the website in 1998, merging it with Union Atlantic.

Mahoney was chairman and chief operating officer of vFinance, Inc., which is located in Boca Raton. The vFinance website currently boasts 80,000 subscribers, but nearly 90 percent of the company's $25.8 million revenues now come from brokerage and trading activities, according to vFinance's annual report. The company has dropped from $8 per share in 2000 to 20 cents on September 26, 2006. The company has quadrupled its revenues in the past six years and increased its payroll from 21 employees to 197 during the same time.[3]

U.S. Congress

Mahoney had been a Republican for most of his life, but became a Democrat in 2004 after having allegedly becoming disillusioned by the GOP.[3] In an interesting irony, Mark Foley, the man Mahoney replaced had been a Democrat who turned Republican shortly before his own initial election to Congress.

2006 campaign

In the 2006 general election, Mahoney faced six-term Republican incumbent Mark Foley. In 2006, 42% of the voters in this district were registered Republicans, and 36% were registered Democrats.[4] George W. Bush won this district with 52% of the vote in the 2000 presidential election, and with 54% of the vote in the 2004 presidential election. One poll taken by Hamilton Beattie on September 12, 2006, had Foley leading Mahoney 48% to 35%.[5]

In the campaign, Mahoney sharply criticized the Bush administration for overspending, general mismanagement, and its policies in Iraq.[6] In August, General Wesley Clark endorsed Mahoney.[7]

On September 28, 2006, ABC News reported that Republican incumbent Mark Foley had sent email messages, from his personal AOL account, to a then-16-year-old former congressional page, asking the page to send a photo of himself to Foley, among other things that were overtly sexual in nature.[8] The next day, Foley resigned.[9] The Republicans' hold on the seat went from "safe" to "shaky" overnight.[10]

On October 2, 2006, the Florida Republican Party Executive Board selected state representative Joe Negron as Mahoney's new opponent.[6] However, Negron's name did not appear on the ballot; he only received votes cast for Foley, whose name remained on the ballot by law. On election day, Mahoney narrowly defeated Negron by 1.8 percentage points.[11] While Negron carried most of the more conservative areas of the district near Fort Myers, Mahoney carried the two largest counties in the district, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties, by a combined margin of over 10,000 votes — far more than the actual margin of victory.

Mahoney is the first Democrat to represent the district since its creation in 1973 (it was the 10th District until 1983 and the 12th District until 1993).

2008 election

Mahoney had been a top target for defeat in 2008, due to the district's Republican voting history. However, revelations of his extramarital affair (see below) severely hampered his reelection chances. In the November election, Mahoney was soundly defeated by former assistant state attorney general Tom Rooney. Mahoney won only 40 percent of the vote to Rooney's 60 percent — the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent in the 2008 cycle.

Issues and positions

Mahoney is generally considered to be a moderate Democrat, especially by South Florida Democratic standards. He has taken the following policy stances:

He is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of Democratic congressmen (largely from the South) known for moderate to conservative stances, especially on social issues.

On September 29, 2008, Mahoney voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.[12]

Committee assignments

Personal life

Mahoney has a home in Palm Beach Gardens (though he was described in the official House roll as "D-Venus") and a cattle ranch in southern Highlands County.[3] He is married and has a daughter, Bailey. Currently his daughter is an honor student and a scholarship equestrian athlete. The Mahoneys are members of the Venus United Methodist Church in Venus, Florida. Mahoney describes himself as a "fundamental Christian".[3] In October 2008 Mahoney was linked to paying off his mistress not to disclose an extramarital affair.[1]


On September 18, 2008, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call ran an article questioning Mahoney's residency status.[13] It alleged that Mahoney had registered to vote at "a horse barn" for the purposes of having residency in his Congressional District, while his primary residence was actually in another district. The issue came to light after Mahoney missed a rent payment on his Capitol Hill apartment in July of 2007. The case itself was dismissed on September 6, 2007. While Mahoney's opponent, Tom Rooney, attempted to make light of the allegations, the attack proved ineffective after Democrats revealed that Rooney himself was registered to vote at a dog track.[14]

On October 13, 2008, ABC News reported that Mahoney had agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him.[1] Because Mahoney won this seat in 2006 after a sex scandal forced the incumbent to resign, several[15][16] considered it ironic that a sex scandal of his own coming to light a month before the election, especially since he first campaigned against such corruption.[17] Some professional political pundits, such as Charlie Cook, have already reclassified the race as "Leans Republican."[18] The FBI is looking into whether Mahoney hired the first mistress — and put her on the federal payroll — so she would not reveal their affair.[19]

Mahoney admitted to having "numerous" affairs, "certainly more than two."[20][21] Mahoney's wife Terry filed for divorce in Palm Beach County court on October 20, 2008.[22]


  1. ^ a b c "Congressman's $121,000 Payoff to Alleged Mistress". ABC News. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-14.  
  2. ^ "Rep. Tim Mahoney's wife files for divorce, seeks assets". Treasure Coast Palm Beach News. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  3. ^ a b c d e Michael C. Bender (September 30, 2006). "Democrat in position to win the GOP-leaning seat". Palm Beach Post.  
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Hood, Joel (October 3, 2006). "Rep. Joe Negron wins state Republican Party's approval to replace Foley". Sun-Sentinel.,0,520064.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines. Retrieved 2006-10-03.  
  7. ^ "Tim Mahoney for Florida". Retrieved 2008-10-14.  
  8. ^ "Sixteen-Year-Old Who Worked as Capitol Hill Page Concerned About E-mail Exchange with Congressman". ABC News. September 28, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-28.  
  9. ^ Ferrechio, Susan (September 29, 2006). "Republican Rep. Foley Resigns, Drops Re-election Bid in Fla. 16". St Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2006-09-29.  
  10. ^
  11. ^ Florida Department of State - Election Results
  12. ^ "Bailout Roll Call" (PDF). 2008-09-29.   Retrieved on September 29, 2008.
  13. ^ "Mahoney Taken To Court In Rent Case". Roll Call. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-10-14.  
  14. ^ "Democrats point out that Mahoney's challenger Rooney used dog track for voter registration address". Treasure Coast Palm. 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2008-10-14.  
  15. ^ "Florida Dem requests ethics investigation into own actions". CNN. 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-10-13.  
  16. ^ van der Galien, Michael (2008-10-14). "Mark Foley’s Replacement Caught in... Sex Scandal". PoliGazette. Retrieved 2008-10-13.  
  17. ^ "Fla. congressman seeks probe after affair reports". Associated Press. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-14.  
  18. ^ "House Competitive Race Charts". Cook Political Report. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-14.  
  19. ^ Skoloff, Brian (2008-10-16). "Federal official: FBI investigating Mahoney". Associated press.,4670,MahoneyInvestigation,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  20. ^ "Mahoney admits to 'multiple' affairs". The Palm Beach Post. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  21. ^ "Rep. Tim Mahoney acknowledges "numerous" affairs: "certainly more than two"". Jupiter Courier. 2008-10/17. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  22. ^ "Mahoney's wife files divorce petition". The Palm Beach Post. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mark Foley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 16th congressional district

2007 – 2009
Succeeded by
Tom Rooney

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