By Christopher Curry
The crowd swelled to about 100 at Congressman Ted Yoho's first constituent open house in Gainesville on Friday afternoon.
Last year, the Gainesville Republican rode a wave of tea party and grassroots support to unseat longtime incumbent Republican Cliff Stearns.
Friday, Yoho thanked his supporters and said he remained committed to principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise.
He talked about the big federal issue -- the deficit.
"We're at the point now where we have a financial situation looming over our heads that could become a crisis and we don't want to go there," Yoho told the crowd.
But he said he sees signs of progress.
"The House has passed a budget, the president is coming out with one and the Senate has come out with one for the first time in 4½ years," Yoho said in a brief interview. "I think that's significant. I think in the 113th Congress, there's a different attitude and I'm proud to be part of it."
In a Washington, D.C., that has been defined by partisan gridlock for several years, Yoho said there is hope for bipartisan cooperation on deficit reduction.
"You will see both sides work together on this," he said. "I feel confident about that. The freshman class, Republicans and Democrats, everybody came together. We said we don't want to talk about social issues. We want to talk about job creation, tax reform, getting the regulations out of the way of businesses so they can do their job and create jobs."
He said paring down government regulations on businesses is a goal in D.C.
Yoho said he was also impressed by the size of the crowd that turned out Friday. He jokingly told supporters he expected 10 people to show.
"I was very honored to have that many people come," he said. "I'm excited that many people care enough about their country and their government to show up on a Friday afternoon."
Archer Mayor Frank Ogborn was among the supporters. "I like his views with regard to less government. I like his views with regard to more local control," Ogborn said. "When you walk up to the man, he shakes your hand and looks you in the eye."