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By Adam Smith / Tampa Bay Times

Former U.S. Reps. David Jolly, R-Belleaire Bluffs, and Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, are launching a series of town hall-style meetings across Florida to shine the light on gridlock and dysfunction in Washington. The bipartisan “Why Gridlock Rules Washington and How We Can Solve the Crisis,” series has four stops already scheduled — at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida International University, University of Miami, and the University of Florida – which will be free and open to the public.

Jolly and Murphy, onetime rivals for the U.S. Senate in 2016, expect to add more events in the Fall. Murphy was the Democratic nominee of U.S. Senate and lost to Marco Rubio, and Jolly was a leading contender for the GOP nomination but dropped out when Sen. Rubio reversed himself to run for reelection. Jolly went on to lose to Charlie Crist for congress and is considering running again in the heavily Democratic district.

“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, 34.

“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, 44, added.

The first stop will be held at the University of South Florida in Tampa on September 12th. The 75-minute town hall style event will be sponsored by U.S.F. and the Tampa Bay Times.


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