Coming to a campus near you: Patrick Murphy, David Jolly anti-gridlock tour


Former Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, left, and former Republican Rep. David Jolly will tour college campuses to discuss gridlock in Washington.

Former U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, and David Jolly, R-St. Petersburg, are embarking on a bipartisan speaking tour to address “Why Gridlock Rules Washington and How We Can Solve the Crisis.”

The pair will “pull back the curtain on Washington and shine a light on the inside reasons why D.C. is in a state of chaos and dysfunction,” according to an announcement today.

Scheduled dates so far: Sept. 12 at the University of South Florida in Tampa; Oct. 4 at Florida International University in Miami; Oct. 18 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables and Oct. 25 at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Additional stops could be added.

USF and The Tampa Bay Times are sponsoring the first 75-minute town hall-style event; other sponsors haven’t been announced.

Murphy, elected twice in a Republican-leaning Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional district, crossed the aisle on votes more frequently than most of his House colleagues. He gave up his seat in 2016 to pursue an unsuccessful challenge of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.  Murphy recently said he’s not running for office in 2018 but he’s only 34 and many expect him to re-emerge in Florida politics.

“Working across the aisle was a hallmark of my two terms in Congress, and the relationships I formed with members of both parties were invaluable.  I look forward to joining my former colleague as we share our perspectives on ways we must work together to improve our broken political system,” said Murphy.

Jolly launched a 2016 Senate campaign as well but bowed out when Rubio decided to seek re-election after his presidential bid fizzled. Jolly then lost his House re-election bid to Democrat Charlie Crist after redistricting gave his district a Democratic slant. Jolly has maintained a high profile of late as a Republican critic of President Donald Trump.

“Even in times of great disagreement there are ways of finding common ground, there are opportunities for bipartisan leadership to solve some of our country’s toughest issues.  I’m excited and proud to join my friend on a statewide tour to discuss how this can be accomplished in today’s hyper-partisan world of politics,” Jolly said.

The events will be 75 minutes



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