U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., was sworn in as the newest member of Congress Thursday.
Jolly defeated former state CFO Alex Sink in a special election Tuesday for the open congressional seat held for decades by the late Bill Young. Jolly worked for Young as an aide.
Sworn in by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Jolly spoke before his new colleagues and looked to play up a bipartisan tone. Jolly was introduced by the dean of the Florida delegation, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
"We've had a nationally watched race, that race is now over," Jolly said. "And now it is time for me as a member of Congress and this body to join with each of you to follow in the footsteps you have made to serve in your community as I begin to serve mine."
Calling the chamber the peoples House, Jolly vowed to follow in Youngs footsteps as much as possible and insisted he would put the interests of the nation and the district above political concerns.
After a narrow win over Sink on Tuesday, Jolly will face another election battle in November. While Sink closed the door on running if she lost to Jolly, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DNCC) said on a conference call on Wednesday that he hoped Sink would make a second bid against Jolly. Libertarian Lucas Overby, who took almost 5 percent of the vote on Tuesday, has left the door open to running again in November.
With the DCCC already gunning for him in November, Jolly looked to keep his supporters in the loop on Thursday. Jolly sent an email to supporters on Thursday morning while still in the Tampa Bay area.
I wish each one of you could join us for this special time, Jolly wrote. This moment is ours together, not mine.
Jolly will be in Youngs old offices for the rest of the term, though it is expected he will go to more junior offices after November if he wins.
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