Two former congressmen from Florida--Republican David Jolly and Democrat Patrick Murphy--are expanding their tour to “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.”
Jolly and Murphy announced on Friday that they are taking their talk on “Why Gridlock Rules Washington and How We Can Solve the Crisis” to locations in Florida and across the nation, adding appearances at Harvard University, Tufts University, Jacksonville University, the Florida House in Washington D.C., the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo and the University of Chicago to their town hall tour. Democrat operative David Axelrod, best known for helping Barack Obama’s presidential bids, will be moderating the event in Chicago.
The two former congressmen offered their takes on why they were expanding the tour.
“Despite the frustrations with Washington, we believe there are solutions to the gridlock and are excited to pull back the curtain for more people across the country to get involved in our democracy!” said Murphy. “We’re grateful for anyone willing to have an open dialogue about fixing D.C. and honored that these schools and groups have opened their doors to us.”
“The response to our town halls has been overwhelming and I think that speaks to the desire by people to see Republicans and Democrats work together, not against each other, to solve our biggest issues,” Jolly said. On Tuesday night, Jolly closed the door to attempting a political comeback in 2018, saying no to a rematch with U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., who beat him in 2016.
Both Jolly and Murphy were involved in the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Florida. Jolly ran for the Republican nomination until U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who had said he would not run for a second term, jumped back in at the last minute. Murphy won the Democratic nomination, beating then U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson in the primary, but lost to Rubio in November.
In Congress, Jolly and Murphy worked together, including helping launch the Coastal Communities Caucus in early 2015. Both men represented swing districts and tried to claim the political center during their time in Washington.
The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Harvard Institute of Politics will host their appearance on March 22.
“We look forward to hosting Congressmen Murphy and Jolly at the Forum and further promoting the spirit of cooperation on campus. Students at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government represent a diverse set of backgrounds, interests, and political beliefs, fostering many compelling and productive discussions and this event is no exception,” said Ryan Davis, the student chairman of the JFK Jr. Forum.
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