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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

David Jolly tells supporters he's got "unfinished business" in Congress



In an email blast to supporters, U.S. Rep. David Jolly explained why he is leaving the U.S. Senate campaign he has been in for almost a year to instead run for re-election.

"I have unfinished business. We have unfinished business together," Jolly said the email sent out to supporters at noon. "Today I'm asking you for the opportunity to keep doing my job. I ask for your support in seeking reelection to the House of Representatives."

Here's his full letter:


There’s an old adage that all politics is local. For me, it’s personal.

You see, two years ago I promised my community that I would wake up every day fighting for results, and fighting to bring new solutions based on my core beliefs of personal liberty and fiscal responsibility. It's a responsibility I have embraced with conviction, recognizing each day the great honor Pinellas County has entrusted me with in Congress. It's a job I take to heart and never take for granted.

The rewards of working together over this short period of time have been remarkable and swift. Whether it was arranging the safe return of a young student critically injured in a car wreck in Cuba...or helping a Dunedin family bring their adopted son home from the Congo...or joining forces with a critically injured Pinellas soldier needing to get back to his family after a training accident.

While so much of politics nowadays is wrongly mired in division and insult, we were able to break through the gridlock and actually get things done. Actually help people.

And when told by party elders that a freshman congressman would have to wait his turn to produce legislative results, we never wavered. We were able to secure the very first testimony under oath that patient wait times at the VA contributed to the death of veterans. We got the VA to make changes to stop wrongly declaring our war heroes deceased, and fought to reduce the benefits backlog. We made sure the Naval Base at Gauntanamo Bay was not returned to the Cuban government. We fought for greater restrictions on offshore oil drilling and new funding for beach and shore protection, secured critical new investments in medical research for Alzheimers and other diseases, expanded private market flood insurance options, secured advances in fisheries management and ocean sciences, and fought for additional investments in early childhood education and student readiness.

And together we started a national movement, the “Stop Act,” to get members of Congress to stop asking the people they serve for money and start doing their jobs.

We did all this…together.

Last year, the courts created a congressional district that partisan leaders said was drawn to ensure only one party could be competitive – and it wasn’t my party. I believed them. And I accepted the encouragement to bring a new voice to the U.S. Senate.

But the more I traveled our remarkable state, the more dedicated I became to the opportunity before me, the opportunity to continue to do my day job. I wasn’t willing to miss votes, so I didn't. I wasn’t willing to skip out on committee hearings and intelligence briefings, so I didn't. I wasn’t willing to spend my days fundraising, and I wasn't willing to turn my back on families in need that I had sworn to help. I wasn’t willing to violate the public trust.

A year later, it's clear the opportunity to change Washington, to do right by my community, is to simply ask for the opportunity to keep doing my job.

The business of our republic is never finished. Nor am I. The issues we face as a country are always evolving and the threats we face as a nation are all too real.

Now is the time for Congress to give voice to American people, to everyone. Now is the time to commit as a nation to going forward, to realize the solutions before us are not found in the rigid dogmas of the past, nor in the failed leadership of the past, but instead through a willingness to reject the politics of division and commit to working together respectfully as one community, as one country.

I have unfinished business. We have unfinished business together.

Today I'm asking you for the opportunity to keep doing my job. I ask for your support in seeking reelection to the House of Representatives.

With much respect,


[Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2016 12:46pm]


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