Politics

Former Florida Reps. Murphy and Jolly Floating Bipartisan Governor Bid

The two have traveled together speaking on gridlock and dysfunction in Washington

Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., is considering asking former Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., to join his ticket in a bid for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two former Florida congressmen are mulling joining forces on a bipartisan ticket to run for governor.

Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, is considering running alongside former Republican Rep. David Jolly, depending on the results of a poll Murphy commissioned this week, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Murphy, 35, represented Florida’s 18th District from 2013 to 2017 and left Congress after an unsuccessful challenge to Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2016 Senate race. He was a Republican until 2011, when he resigned from the party.

Jolly, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, lost his 2016 re-election campaign for Florida’s 13th District to Republican-turned-Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist.

Murphy would run for the Democratic nomination, and Jolly would join him on the ticket as the lieutenant governor candidate.

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The two former congressmen have become close over the last year as they've traveled together hosting town-hall discussions where they rip on the political dysfunction plaguing Washington, D.C.

Murphy and Jolly would have to hurdle tall fundraising obstacles since running on a bipartisan ticket would likely alienate them from the aid of their respective parties.

“I think what Patrick and I are focusing in on is, regardless of where you consider yourself on the [political] spectrum, there’s a path forward to working together," Jolly said at an event in Jacksonville earlier this month. “In this environment I don’t think there’s enough people speaking to that.”

The two titled their town-hall tour “Why Gridlock Rules Congress and How We Can Solve the Crisis.”

“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,” Murphy said last September at the outset of the tour. “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.”

Florida’s current governor, term-limited Republican Rick Scott, is mounting a challenge to Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race to replace Scott a Tossup.

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