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A former congressman shares his thoughts on Florida’s divided political environment

Associated Press
David Jolly left the Republican party and registered as NPA or no party affiliation four years ago.

David Jolly left the Republican party in 2018 and has advocated for more options other than the two major parties.

On the next Florida Matters, we talk with former St. Petersburg congressman David Jolly about bipartisanship in a polarized political landscape.

The former U.S. representative from Tampa Bay left the Republican party and registered as NPA or no party affiliation four years ago.

He's since advocated for more options for voters whose priorities don't align with those of the two major parties. And in 2020, he co-created the Forward Party, billed as an alternative to partisan politics.

Today he says his former party, and the country, face unique and dangerous challenges.

Host Matthew Peddie talks with Jolly about those challenges and about the future of bipartisan politics.

Peddie asks Jolly for his thoughts about a New York Times article describing Florida as a “laboratory for right wing policy.” You can hear his answer below.

David Jolly on Florida being called a laboratory for right wing politics

First though — researchers are still measuring the impact of Hurricane Ian on Florida’s waterways.

Satellite photos taken before and after the storm show a dramatic change in the water quality off Florida's Gulf Coast.

David Tomasko, executive director of the Sarasota Bay Estuary program, says the hurricane dumped masses of vegetation into the Peace River, while millions of gallons of wastewater overwhelmed treatment plants.

Tomasko tells host Peddie that Hurricane Charley, which took a similar track across the state in 2004, gave him some idea of what to expect from Ian.

You can listen to the full conversations by clicking on the “Listen” button above. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

Hi there! I’m Dinorah Prevost and I’m the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show. That basically means that I plan, record and edit the interviews we feature on the show.
I am the host of WUSF’s weekly public affairs show Florida Matters, where I get to indulge my curiosity in people and explore the endlessly fascinating stories that connect this community.