NRA backing Matt Caldwell in Ag. Commish race - Florida Politics

NRA backing Matt Caldwell in Ag. Commish race

Matt Caldwell snagged a high-profile endorsement in his race for Florida’s next Agriculture Commissioner, with the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) announcing its support Tuesday.

“Representative Matt Caldwell has been a steadfast supporter of Second Amendment issues as a member of the Florida House,” said former NRA President Marion Hammer.

“He is the only candidate in this race with a perfect record of unyielding support of the Second Amendment to our Constitution. His background of active, dedicated legislative service to advancing the cause of Freedom and protecting Second Amendment rights has been outstanding.”

Hammer concluded with a rallying cry to NRA members. “We urge all Second Amendment supporters to vote for Matt Caldwell for Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”

Caldwell is one of four Republicans in the race, along with Denise Grimsley, Mike McCalister, and Baxter Troutman.

“I’m proud to have received the endorsement of the NRA,” said Caldwell.

“Floridians can trust me to stand strong in defense of their constitutional freedoms. I am the only candidate to consistently have an A+ NRA rating, and I am honored that they have placed their trust in me with a full endorsement. I am an unwavering defender of the 2nd Amendment because I believe what our Founders believed: our rights come from God, not politicians.”

Caldwell is running to replace current Ag. Commissioner Adam Putnam, who is running in the Florida governor’s race. He recently won a Seminole County GOP straw poll of the race.

While this endorsement by the NRA PAC could motivate Republican voters, it may be a source of controversy as well. Putnam’s office took heavy criticism over its failure to vet tens of thousands of concealed carry permits during his tenure as Agriculture Commissioner.

Putnam previously touted himself as a “proud NRA sellout,” which earned him criticism following the background check debacle.

Now, Caldwell is the NRA’s choice to replace him.

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.
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