GOP Agriculture Commissioner race heats up on the air - Florida Politics

GOP Agriculture Commissioner race heats up on the air

As primary day nears, the race for Florida Agriculture Commissioner heats up on the airwaves, as two of four Republicans running are out with new campaign ads this week.

Former state Rep. Baxter Troutman of Winter Haven is launching a new ad in the district of state Rep. Matt Caldwell, who is also seeking the Republican Ag Commissioner nomination.

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Meanwhile, Florida Politics reported earlier that state Sen. Denise Grimsley of Zolfo Springs is also starting to run “Get it Done,” an ad that addresses phone fraud.

Also competing in the Aug. 28 Republican primary is retired Army Colonel Mike McCalister.

Troutman’s ad is premiering in the Fort Myers-Naples area, largely in Caldwell’s state House district. The spot features segments of other ads he ran in Central Florida, featuring a scene with his wife and daughter, in the boardroom of his employment service and in hunter’s camouflage with a rifle on his shoulder.

Grimsley, who previously ran TV ads on her agricultural background, is now highlighting another responsibility for the head of Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service – addressing unwanted calls from telemarketers.

During her time in the state Senate, Grimsley helped pass legislation to allow phone companies to block “spoofed” numbers, which telemarketers use to look like a local call, but are actually from out-of-state or overseas.

Starting Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle and its heartland, the spots will appear in countries roughly south of Polk County in the center of the state, which somewhat corresponds to her state Senate District 26. They will be expanded statewide later, she said.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has endorsed Caldwell, a move that perhaps is forcing the other two candidates, who have each outraised the Fort Myers Republican in campaign funds, to spend more on television ads.

Former Ledger of Lakeland columnist Bill Rufty is Central Florida political correspondent for SaintPetersBlog and Florida Politics. Rufty had been with the Ledger from 1985-2015, where, as political editor, he covered a wide range of beats, including local and state politics, the Lakeland City Commission, and the Florida Legislature. Ledger editor Lenore Devore said about Rufty’s 30-year career: “[He is] a man full of knowledge, a polling expert and a war history buff … who has a steel trap in his brain, remembering details most of us have long since forgotten.”

2 Comments

  1. Where do these ag.comis. candidates stand on the red tide etc. Pollution from the ag. Chemicals & improper advance of farming on natural wetlands?

    1. Where do candidates for fl.ag.comis.stand on red tide & pollutants coming from increased development of land & it’s runoff?

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