Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) is now the first Mason alum to serve in the U.S. Congress, representing Florida’s 13th district.
Congressman Jolly grew up in Dunedin, FL and received his Bachelor’s degree in history from Emory University in Georgia. When he graduated, Jolly had traveled no further north than Tennessee. It was his interest in governmental affairs that inspired Congressman Jolly to move to Washington, D.C. to pursue a future in politics.
“I always had a strong interest in public policy, with a particular interest in working on Capitol Hill,” Jolly said.
He worked in the D.C. area doing a newspaper job at night while he spent his days working as a staff member on Capitol Hill. Planning to attend law school, Jolly applied to George Mason University School of Law.
“I had no idea the opportunities that would be created by going to law school at George Mason,” Jolly said.
As for his classroom experience, the Congressman made it evident that Mason’s School of Law stands apart from other law schools in its strategic approach to economics and the law.
Congressman Jolly highlighted on the fact that former Solicitor General and Federal Court of Appeals judge Ken Starr was a Mason faculty member at the time Jolly was a student. Moreover, Starr led one of Jolly’s seminars.
“Having the former Solicitor General of The United States teach your constitutional law class is an opportunity you could scarcely encounter at any other law school,” Jolly said.
According to Jolly, the material he was taught in law school essentially “clicked” for him. He recalled how the professors encouraged him to think in an analytical manner across the spectrum.
The widespread knowledge of law that Jolly acquired during his tenure at Mason Law paved the way for his future as a Congressman.
Living in Indian Shores, FL, Jolly joined the House of Representatives this past March. However, campaigning for Congress is often a very rigorous, and expensive, process.
“For me, I knew that once I decided to become a candidate it meant I had the responsibility to be honest about every aspect of my life,” Jolly said. “It was normal for multi-million dollar ads to run on TV attempting to taint my reputation.”
Congressman Jolly feels very strongly about the need for improvement in campaign finance.
“It is a blight in this nation’s history, and it needs a solution,” Jolly said.
While in Congress, Jolly also hopes to work on budget reform.
“The nation’s budget is more than just a fiscal matter,” Jolly said. “It is a matter of national security. Our nation must recognize that a budget reform act is needed.”
The Congressman is also interested in healthcare, particularly for senior citizens, water quality and improving the quality of the environment.
Looking back on his college years, Jolly said he would tell himself to “do better.”
“Remind yourself that resiliency and fortitude can lead one to accomplish great things,” Jolly said.
Featured photo courtesy of the office of Rep. David Jolly (R-FL)