Connect with us
Matt Caldwell is the cash winner so far this year in the Ag Commissioner race.

Headlines

Matt Caldwell racks up Panhandle endorsements

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell on Tuesday announced his ninth wave of endorsements, showcasing support from key local leaders in the Panhandle.

The North Fort Myers Republican state Representative’s newest supporters include elected or retired officials in five Northwest Florida counties: Escambia, Holmes, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Franklin.

In Santa Rosa, County Sheriff Robert Johnson, retired Sheriff Wendell Holmes and Property Appraiser Gregory Brown are backing Caldwell’s Cabinet bid.

Holmes County Sheriff John Tate, Property Appraiser Bryan Bell and Tax Collector Harry Bell also are backing Caldwell.

Other endorsements include Escambia Tax Collector Scott Lunsford and Franklin Sheriff A.J. Smith, along with Sheriff Larry Ashley and Clerk of Courts J.D. Peacock, both from Okaloosa County.

In a statement Caldwell, who chaired the Government Accountability Committee in the 2018 Legislative Session, said he was proud of the support.

“Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture will work closely with these key leaders to support businesses and families across the Sunshine State and I am honored that they have placed their trust in me,” Caldwell said.

Though Caldwell represents a Southwest Florida district, he hasn’t had trouble appealing to officials in Florida’s Panhandle. The newest wave of support isn’t the first from notable Northwest Florida officials.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, whose CD 1 seat eclipses all of Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties, backed Caldwell in October. A former colleague of Caldwell in the Florida House, Gaetz said then he was backing Caldwell “because he is a consistent conservative.”

Gaetz has since offered tidbits of support for Caldwell via Twitter.

Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson also has previously endorsed Caldwell.

Traveling the state is a centerpiece of Caldwell’s campaign. Dubbed #2LaneTravels, the Ag Comish candidate’s digital tool allows voters to monitor his stops across Florida. It also shows who in each county has backed him for his Cabinet quest. So far Caldwell’s camp claims to have covered just under 60,000 miles of Sunshine State pavement.

A state legislator, Caldwell could not raise funds during Session. But since March 11, the most recent available campaign finance records show he’s amassed $38,475 in his PAC and $11,250 in his campaign account since Session. The campaign claims it currently has over $1 million cash-on-hand.

Republican primary opponents Sebring state Sen. Denise Grimsley and former state Rep. Baxter Troutman present formidable fundraising totals. The News Service of Florida reported earlier this month that Grimsley began April with $870,000 on hand, and Troutman has self-funded his race to the tune of $2.7 million.

Written By

Danny McAuliffe is a Tallahassee correspondent for Florida Politics. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. He is a lifelong Floridian and indulges in swimming, hiking, running and memes when the news cycle permits. Reach him at dmcauliffe500@gmail.com.

Andrew Gillum Andrew Gillum

Yep, the FBI did f*ck Andrew Gillum

Emails & Opinions

T.K. Wetherell, former House Speaker and FSU president, now in hospice

Headlines

Parkland names pad Ron DeSantis’ public safety panel

Headlines

Brian Mast outlines early path for Ron DeSantis’ algae battle

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.