Standing in front of a banner reading "There is a Voice!" a group of Polk County business leaders and politicians today rallied in support of the new Florida Polytechnic University.
In attendance was State Sen. J.D. Alexander, the driving force behind Florida Polytechnic's contentious split from the University of South Florida. The group said they wanted to move discussion and press coverage about the school into a positive light and away from the laser-like focus on Alexander.
"I hope you'll begin to see this isn't about me," Alexander said. "This is about how to move our economy and our region and our state forward."
Supporters have formed a group called Florida Poly Vision, which they say will support the school, much like an alumni group. Polk businessman Cliff Otto is co-chairing Florida Poly Vision.
"Right, wrong or indifferent, we are where we are now," said Otto. "So let's put the past behind us, and let's come together and say 'how do we make this as successful as we can?' Because it's in all of our best interests to do so."
Otto said a Polytechnic University will help bring more jobs and industries to Florida.