Connect with us

Tampa Bay

David Jolly officially breaks up with the Republican Party

Former Congressman David Jolly has left the Republican Party, he announced Friday on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

“I left the party about five weeks ago. My wife and I both did,” Jolly said to a shocked panel and cheers from the audience.

Jolly has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party and said late last year that he thought Democrats should take control of the House of Representatives.

“I think we’ll be safer in a divided government,” he said.

Jolly said the tipping point for ditching the GOP came when he and his wife found out they are expecting their first child.

I hope our daughter learns two things from our example. The first is for three years we fought a fight for something we truly believed in that the Republicans could answer to better angels,” Jolly said. “The other lesson I hope our daughter learns [is] there are fights that at times wiser men and women walk away from … At some point, we get to judge the leadership integrity and the moral fiber of our political leaders and we get to say, you made a wrong decision and you need to leave.”

Maher asked Jolly if he was prepared to vote Democrat in the November election, prompting Jolly’s political affiliation announcement. He did not directly answer the question, but implied he may vote blue based on his previous assertion that the House should flip from Republican control.

Maher’s segment centered on bitter partisan divide.

Jolly now has no party affiliation, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office.

Barack Obama talked about a post-partisan America but he tried to do it through a two-party system,” Jolly said seeming to imply he either registered with a third party or chose to have no party affiliation. “I don’t think the future is between the two parties.”

Jolly lost his seat in Congress in 2016 to Charlie Crist. Crist also left the Republican Party after leaving the Governor’s mansion and ran against Rick Scott in 2014 for a second term as a Democrat.

Jolly also partnered with Democrat Patrick Murphy on a nationwide tour of college campuses talking about gridlock and dysfunction in Washington D.C. The two were briefly rumored earlier this year to run on a bipartisan ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

Jolly is a regular contributor on the left-leaning MSNBC. He’s the second prominent conservative on that station to leave the GOP. Steve Schmidt, a former top adviser on John McCain’s presidential campaign and a former senior aide to President George W. Bush, announced in June he was leaving the GOP. He called the GOP “fully the party of Trump” in a tweet.

A request for comment from Jolly is pending.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

Andrew Gillum Andrew Gillum

Yep, the FBI did f*ck Andrew Gillum

Emails & Opinions

Parkland names pad Ron DeSantis’ public safety panel

Headlines

Brian Mast outlines early path for Ron DeSantis’ algae battle

Influence

Joe Henderson: More disruption is coming to Florida public schools

Influence

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Michael Moline, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.