Former U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., announced on Tuesday night that he would not attempt a political comeback this year.
Jolly emerged in Florida politics in 2014 when he edged former state CFO Alex Sink in a special election called after the death of longtime U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla. Later that year, Jolly won a full term in his own right and turned his eyes to the U.S. Senate, launching a bid after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced he would run for the Republican presidential nomination instead of a second term in the Senate.
When Rubio announced at the last moment that he would seek a second term, Jolly decided to seek reelection. But he faced a major Democratic challenger in former Gov. Charlie Crist who won in 2016 taking 52 percent while the Republican incumbent pulled 48 percent.
Since losing to Crist, Jolly has remained politically active, taking shots at President Donald Trump in the media and working with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., on a tour of Florida 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 made appearances across the Sunshine State on “Why Gridlock Rules Washington and How We Can Solve the Crisis.”
While there had been buzz that Jolly would try to take Crist on in a rematch, pointing to the special congressional election in Pennsylvania, the former Republican congressman announced that he would not seek office this year.
“Politics is about timing,” Jolly posted on Twitter. “Four years ago tonight I was elected in a district Obama won twice. Laura and I have considered another run, but watching Pennsylvania, this is not the year to reenter politics.”
Jolly took aim at Trump on Thursday night, insisting he needed to face a Republican primary challenger in 2020.
“Trump should be primaried in 2020,” Jolly posted on Twitter. “Our focus tonight is on being a part of that primary.”