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Matt Caldwell, Adam Putnam


Adam Putnam back on campaign trail for Matt Caldwell

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will hit the campaign trail once again this week, this time in support of potential successor Matt Caldwell.

Caldwell, the Republican candidate for Agriculture Commissioner this year, announced he will appear alongside Putnam at a grassroots barbeque in O’Brien.

Putnam, who will soon wrap up his second term as Agriculture Commissioner, recently lost the Republican primary for governor to Ron DeSantis.

Putnam long seemed the favorite to win the primary, leading in polling until after President Donald Trump endorsed DeSantis and changed the race.

Caldwell, meanwhile survived a tough four-way primary to win the Republican primary for Agriculture Commissioner in August.

The tough primary took a financial toll on Caldwell’s coffers, but he’s since led Democrat Nikki Fried in fundraising leading toward the general election.

Putnam, meanwhile, all but dropped from public view after his difficult primary defeat.

The last political post on his Twitter account, for example, came on Aug. 28 as he made a last ditch effort to rally voters to polls to support his gubernatorial bid.

That is until this weekend.

The Friday message marked a re-entry into politics in the race for the Cabinet post that first out him on the ballot statewide.

And it may come at a moment Caldwell could use a boost. While he maintains the lead in the money race, some publicly released polls, including one from St. Pete Polls, show Fried with an edge largely thanks to her outspoken support of medical marijuana.

Caldwell had tried to showcase his traditional agricultural bona fides by traveling to numerous events focused on the industry, tracking his campaign trail on Twitter with the hashtag #2lanetravels.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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