Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

David Jolly sworn into Congress

WASHINGTON — David Jolly was sworn in Thursday as the newest member of the U.S. House of Representatives, capping an intensely fought election to replace his former boss, the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

Jolly took the oath on the House floor at 2:07 p.m., using a family Bible.

"We have had a nationally watched race, that race is now over," Jolly told his new colleagues. "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 that you have made in serving your community as I begin to serve mine."

Longtime Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, led him to the corner where Young would sit. "I broke down crying," Jolly told the Tampa Bay Times. "We all know the spirit he left in that chamber."

The 41-year-old Republican, who became a Capitol Hill lobbyist after working for Young, won a tight race Tuesday against Democrat Alex Sink that captured the nation's eye and saw more than $12 million in spending, mostly from outside groups.

The result spawned a partisan debate about whether it hinged on the Affordable Care Act, which Jolly pledged to repeal and Sink defended but said should be changed.

Democrats contend they simply did not turn out enough voters on election day, yet also concede that the health care law was a motivating force for Republicans. President Barack Obama and his policies also remain unpopular with Republicans and some independents.

"I've stood up here after losing some special elections, I've tried to put lipstick on a pig, but it was still a pig," House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday. "So you can bet they'll try to put lipstick on it today, but you all know what the facts are."

Jolly sought to strike a bipartisan tone Thursday. "You have my commitment today to work with each and every one of you," he told his new colleagues.

He will take over Young's old office suite in the Rayburn House Office Building, a space with a spectacular view of the Capitol that exemplified the late lawmaker's stature as a top appropriator.

But Jolly said he will not sit in Young's actual office. He plans to turn it into a tribute.

"It's a balance," he said, walking to the office with an aide. "I want people to know I'm my own person, and I intend to represent people as I have laid out. I want to pay tribute to Mr. Young at the same time, though. I also just can't sit in that office."

Even if Jolly wins a two-year term in November, the office will go to a more senior member.

Jolly said he was still mulling staffing decisions but was headed back to Florida to set up district offices. He said he wants as many local staffers as possible, emphasizing constituent service.

As he rode an elevator after being sworn in, Jolly introduced himself to another member. "Oh, congratulations," replied Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. "Welcome to the whirlwind."

Sink open to another attempt

Alex Sink said Thursday she is "keeping an open mind" about running against David Jolly again in November and has no timetable for making a decision.

"It's a 50-50 district, but it still leans right because of gerrymandering," Sink said. "But I still think Washington is broken and needs better people."

Sink had not returned calls and messages since her defeat. A reporter reached her Thursday at her rented condo in Feather Sound.

"Why wouldn't I be here?" Sink said when asked about returning to her longtime home in Thonotosassa. "My lease runs until November."

Meanwhile, fellow Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, who ran against Young in 2012, said she has not given "any thought" to running this fall.

— Adam C. Smith,

Times political editor

David Jolly sworn into Congress 03/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75

    Accidents

    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.