Adam Putnam Archives - Florida Politics

Neil Combee mentions familiar name defending Josie Tomkow

Outgoing state House member Neil Combee invoked a familiar statewide officeholder in an op-ed he submitted to the The Ledger, defending fellow Republican Josie Tomkow’s candidacy for the District 39 seat Combee is set to vacate next week.

Combee is exiting the House Nov. 24 to start a new job as Florida’s State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

Tomkow was the first candidate to file for the impending special election, and quickly earned Combee’s endorsement, though most reports of her candidacy latched on to her being 22 years old.

Combee doesn’t think that’s right.

“Although I am aware she is young by time’s standard, I don’t think age should ever preclude someone from entering public service,” he wrote. “You can never be too old, or too young to want to give back to your community and help your neighbors.”

Combee then weaved a tale that many in the Polk County-based district might find a little familiar:

“Twenty-six years ago, Polk County voters sent what was then one of the youngest people ever elected to the Florida Legislature. He was 22. His accomplishments are well known.

“He rose up in leadership, defending conservative issues and values, leaving an enormous and lasting impact on everything from property rights to insurance regulation.

“When his service was done he came home and, at the age of just 26, Polk County sent him to the United States Congress. There too he was the youngest person during his tenure to serve and he quickly rose up to become a leader.”

That, of course, refers to Agriculture Commissioner and GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, now 43.

Combee’s point was clear: “We here in Polk County have always sent leaders to the Legislature – leaders like Adam Putnam. We look beyond age and I hope we will do that yet again.”

Combee even noted his own youth when Polk County voters elected him to the county commission at 28, and echoed the sentiments from his resignation letter that there “is no greater privilege than having your neighbors send you to be their voice.”

The Auburndale Republican then reiterated his support for Tomkow.

“Now, as an older, wiser man, I can tell you I am endorsing Josie Tomkow because she is the best person for the job, period. She has the energy and passion to serve. She has the knowledge and experience to get things done for our community and her neighbors. She is the right person at the right time.”

Gov. Rick Scott has not yet announced special election dates to replace Combee, and Tomkow is currently the only candidate filed to run in the district.

HD 39 covers parts of Osceola and Polk counties, including Polk City, Auburndale, and the outskirts of Kissimmee at its eastern border and northern Lakeland along the district’s southwestern edge.

Combee’s full letter is below.

Matt Caldwell announces ‘fifth wave’ of endorsements in Ag Commissioner race

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell announced another four endorsements Friday from county level elected officials in Lee, Nassau and Walton.

Caldwell got nods from Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson, Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart, Nassau County Property Appraiser Michael Hickox and County Clerk John Crawford, also of Nassau.

“The importance of protecting our heritage and the economic engine that is Florida Agriculture cannot be overstated. The person that we entrust as Commissioner of Agriculture carries the solemn duty to send his law enforcement and firefighters into harm’s way in service of this state. As Sheriff, I understand that we need a Commissioner who can rise to these challenges. Matt Caldwell is that man,” Adkinson said.

Hart said the HD 79 lawmaker’s “experience working on agricultural policy along with his conservative principles and his legislative skills best qualify him to be Florida’s next Agriculture Commissioner,” while Crawford added that Caldwell is a “humble and serious public servant.”

“He cares deeply about Florida and its future. I’m proud to endorse my friend for Commissioner of Agriculture,” he said.

The press release from Caldwell’s campaign described the new endorsements as the “fifth wave,” following past bulk endorsements from elected officials. The previous set announced by the Caldwell camp included House Speaker Designate Jose Oliva, and Reps. Bryan Avila, Michael Bileca, Manny Diaz, George Moraitis, Jeanette Nunez and Carlos Trujillo

Caldwell said Friday he was “honored to receive the endorsements of these Constitutional Officers who serve a critical role in our State.”

“If given the honor to be elected as Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture, I will work hand in hand with these local leaders to support businesses and families across our State. The incredible individuals listed below are also either current or immediate past presidents of their respective constitutional officer associations in all 67 counties. They are each trusted by their peers as leaders in these positions and I am honored they have placed their trust in me,” he said.

The Lehigh Acres Republican is in a three-way primary race with state Sen. Denise Grimsley and former state Rep. Baxter Troutman, who served from 2003 to 2010, to take over for current Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who is termed out of the Cabinet seat and running for Governor in 2018.

Democrat David Walker also is running for the seat.

Between his campaign and committee, Caldwell had raised a combined total of $1.37 million as of Oct. 31 and had about $934,000 on hand.

Through the same date, Grimsley had raised a total of $1.91 million and had about $884,000 on hand, while Troutman had raised $2.61 million and had $2.56 million on hand. His total is buoyed by $2.5 million of his own money.

Irma agriculture losses continue to mount

Florida’s $2.5 billion request for federal disaster relief for its agriculture industry after Hurricane Irma might not be enough.

Members of the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness said Thursday month-old damage estimates made by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are too low.

“I actually think your numbers are conservative,” said Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Coral Springs Democrat who called for a bipartisan letter to Congress supporting the emergency disaster relief that has been requested by Gov. Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “I think you’re probably looking at over $1 billion in damages to the citrus industry.”

In an estimate of damages on Oct. 4, the state department projected citrus losses at $761 million from the September storm, followed by the nursery industry at almost $624 million.

The cattle industry damage assessment was $237.5 million, while the dairy industry was estimated to have $11.8 million in losses.

The sugar industry appeared to have $383 million in damage, with an estimated 534,324 acres affected. Vegetable and fruit growers — excluding citrus — were projected to have $180 million in damage, with an estimated 163,679 acres impacted by the storm.

Grace Lovett, the department’s legislative affairs director, told the committee Thursday the $2.5 billion estimate included infrastructure, equipment and other items beyond crop damages. However, she noted that the department has noticed a number of trends, such as a slowdown in the movement of produce trucks.

“What they are seeing so far is staggering,” Lovett said. “September produce shipments from Florida were 76 percent lower than their average over the previous four years.”

Rep. Ben Albritton, a Wauchula Republican who is a citrus grower, said the numbers will grow because storm-damaged fruit continues drop from the trees.

“It’s like a disease in a way,” Albritton said, adding, Irma “beat it up so bad that the connection between the fruit and the stem is weakened.”

He added that growers who saw damages of more than 70 percent may find harvesting costs outweigh the return on sales.

Albritton said growers who have lost 80 to 90 percent of their crops essentially have a total loss.

“You can’t afford to harvest 10 or 15 percent,” he said.

Albritton suggested the committee, which is expected to roll out post-storm legislative proposals in December, consider state and local tax reductions for the industry.

Jim Handley, executive vice president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, suggested the state consider opening some of its publicly owned land for commercial cattle ranching to help the industry.

“I know of properties that could be grazed,” Handley said. “The land would be better off, and it would expand our footprint.”

A week ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its Florida citrus-harvest forecast for the current growing season, projecting there will be 27 percent fewer oranges and 40 percent fewer grapefruit than during the past season.

Mike Sparks, executive vice president of Florida Citrus Mutual, said the industry, which has been struggling the past decade with citrus greening disease, had been hoping for a slight rebound in terms of production.

Before the storm, the industry was hoping for about 10 percent growth from the past season, which would still be nearly 40 percent off where the industry needs to be to ensure sustainability, Sparks said.

But the “optimism certainly came to an immediate end” with Irma, Sparks said. Irma, which made landfall Sept. 10 in Monroe and Collier counties and raced up the state, caused heavy damage in major citrus-growing areas.

A series of hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 caused the industry to lose 44 percent of the crop.

“This damage is even worse,” Sparks said. “We had fruit not only blown off the trees, but trees in standing water for days.”

Scott has asked state lawmakers to include $21 million in the next budget to help citrus growers. Scott wants the money to include $10 million for citrus research, $4 million for marketing and $7 million for post-storm relief.

Adam Putnam widened fundraising lead in October, while Phil Levine made a splash

Gubernatorial candidates raised big bucks last month, none more so than Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam who added $1.2 million between his campaign and committee accounts.

Putnam raised $571,932 of that sum through his campaign account and another $616,235 through his political committee, Florida Grown.

The former congressman and state lawmaker spent a combined $466,801 from the two accounts to leave him with nearly $14.7 million in the bank with a to-date fundraising total of $20.4 million.

Putnam’s campaign account received dozens of checks for $3,000, the maximum contribution for statewide races, with several donors doubling down with checks through their company’s subsidiaries or from their family members.

The October donor roll includes a political committee tied to Florida Transportation Builders Association, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and insurance company GEICO, among many others.

Florida Grown, which passed $17 million raised last month, picked up a $150,000 check from the Associated Industries of Florida on the last day of the month as well as $50,000 contributions from California Republican David Jenkins, Dallas-based Tenet Health, real estate group Rayonier Inc., and GMRI, an Orlando-based subsidiary of Darden Restaurants.

Among the expenditures were $115,755 in payments to Harris Media for digital advertising and web development, 17 payments combining to over $75,000 for Lakeland-based Silloh Consulting, and $43,430 to Tallahassee-based Forward Strategies for fundraising consulting.

As reported last week, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine brought in nearly $1 million for his political committee, All About Florida. With all candidate reports in, that total puts him in second place behind Putnam for October.

Levine filed as a candidate on Nov. 1, so he has yet to file a finance report for his campaign. His committee account is flush, though, due to him plunking down $2.6 million of his own money.

The committee had about $5.4 million socked away at the end of the month, earning Levine the No. 2 spot in cash on hand.

Embroiled Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala’s October numbers came in at $513,101 raised between his campaign and political committee, Florida Leadership Committee, putting him in a distant third place among the declared major-party candidates.

The new money was offset by $152,147 in spending, leaving Latvala with a little over $5 million in the bank, good enough to put him in third place for cash on hand as well.

Campaign donors included a committee tied to the Florida Automobile Dealers Association, hotel company Marriott, and North Palm Beach attorney James Williams Jr. and his wife, Maureen Williams.

On the committee side, Latvala picked up $25,000 checks from American Traffic Solutions, a political committee tied to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Sugar and public employee trade association AFSCME Florida.

Expenditures included a $50,000 contribution to the Republican Party of Florida, which paid that back with more than $60,000 worth of “in-kind” contributions last month, $30,000 to Champion Digital Media for advertising, and $20,000 to St. Pete mayoral candidate Rick Baker’s political committee. Baker lost that election to incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman earlier this month.

Former congresswoman Gwen Graham, who touted her fundraising efforts earlier this month, came in behind Latvala with $346,573 raised between her campaign and committee, Our Florida. Heading into November, the North Florida Democrat had raised more than $4 million between her campaign and committee and had $2.66 million of that money on hand.

Winter Park businessman Chris King, running as a Democrat, tacked on $151,834 through his campaign and committee, Rise and Lead Florida, while Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum came in last place among the major candidates. His campaign announced last week that it had raised $80,107 in October, though his committee, Forward Florida, saw negative fundraising last month.

King’s fundraising total to-date clocks in at about $2.7 million, with about $1.7 million on hand. Gillum has raised nearly $1.6 million to date, and had $557,571 on hand at month’s end.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has not officially declared for governor, brought in $267,200 in October through his political committee, Watchdog PAC, making it the committee’s slowest month yet.

AIF’s Voice of Florida Business political committee gave the Land O’ Lakes Republican $50,000 last month, while Auto Glass America, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and a couple other donors chipped in with $25,000 apiece.

His $4 million on hand total would currently put him in the No. 4 position if he were to enter the race.

Fundraising in Ag Commissioner race rebounds post-Irma

After a fundraising slowdown in September as the state – and the agriculture industry – struggled with Hurricane Irma, fundraising revived in October for Republicans seeking to succeed the term-limited Adam Putnam, a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.

Rep. Matt Caldwell, a Republican from North Fort Myers, brought in $66,000 last month for his political committee Friends of Matt Caldwell, with another $45,235 raised for his campaign account.

Caldwell had raised a combined total of $1.37 million as of Oct. 31.

Republican state Sen. Denise Grimsley of Sebring raised $39,855 in September for her campaign account, with another $46,500 raised for her political committee known as Saving Florida’s Heartland.

Grimsley’s two accounts had nearly $885,000 on hand when October came to a close.

The overall money leader in the contest remains self-funded former Rep. Baxter Troutman, a Republican from Winter Haven.

While Troutman pulled in $23,500 for his campaign account last month, and for the second month posted no money to his political committee known as iGrow, his accounts had about $2.56 million on hand as of Oct. 31. Troutman put $2.5 million of his own money into the contest in June.

Meanwhile, Orlando businessman Paul Paulson dropped out of the agriculture-commissioner race while giving an endorsement to Caldwell.

On the Democratic side of the ledger, David Walker of Fort Lauderdale posted $595 in October, after posting $750 in September.

His campaign had raised $5,135 as of Oct. 31, in addition to $9,500 of his own money. He had spent $11,100.

Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

Republicans, agencies welcome Rick Scott’s budget

Gov. Rick Scott’s new $87.4 billion proposed budget has been welcomed by some major Republicans and state agencies.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who pushed legislation combating the Governor’s job incentives and tourism priorities last year, said he welcomes working with Scott to do what “is right for Florida taxpayers.”

“We are confident that together with the Governor and Senate we can produce a budget that cuts taxes, imposes accountability and transparency and ensures the future fiscal health of the state,” Corcoran said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) sang praise for the Governor’s proposed budget, which includes a $10 million investment for an additional 130 child protective investigators and Florida Abuse Hotline counselors, $2.2 million to expand care for victims of human trafficking and $15 million to enhance substance abuse service capacity statewide, along with other items helpful to DCF’s core mission of protecting the vulnerable.

“Governor Scott’s proposed budget shows his commitment to Florida’s most vulnerable citizens and the importance of providing resources to allow DCF to ensure the health and safety of Florida’s families,” said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll in a statement.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam thanked Scott for his proposed raises to wildland firefighters and law enforcement officers. The proposed budget specifies $2.4 million for a 10 percent raise to all Florida Forest Service Firefighters.

“These proposed raises will help us recruit and retain the best law enforcement officers and wildland firefighters to keep Floridians and visitors safe,” Putnam said.

The Florida Department of State (DOS) — with nearly half a million dollars and five staff positions proposed on the budget to create a cyber-security section for mission critical systems and $14.3 million in grant funding for cultural, historical and library grant programs — also lauded Scott.

“Governor Scott’s commitment to investments in library grants, cultural programs, and historic preservation support cultural heritage tourism and economic development, ensuring Florida continues to be one of the world’s best places to live and visit for generations to come,” Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said.

The Florida Department of Education applauded Scott, too. K-12 public schools received a proposed budget of $21.4 billion in state and local funding, an increase of $769.6 million; Florida colleges received $1.24 billion in state operating funds, an increase of $31.9 million; College students got a proposed continuation of  Bright Futures’ funding for 100 percent of Florida Academic Scholars’ fees and tuition.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said the proposed budget demonstrates Scott’s dedication to Florida students.

“This continued investment in our state’s public education system will help to maintain the momentum to the benefit of current and future generations,” Stewart said.

But, despite the praise from his party colleagues and agencies, the term-limited Republican Governor hasn’t won the hearts of Florida Democrats.

The Florida Democratic party denounced the budget as “self-serving politics”

“At every turn, Scott is proving he’s only ever looking out for himself,” the Democratic Party of Florida said in a statement. “And he can’t run away from seven years of budgets that have left hardworking Floridians worse off than when he took office.”

Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum called the budget an attempt to “cover up seven years of failed policies.”

“Budgets reflect our values, and for seven years we’ve seen just what the Governor’s values are: cuts on top of cuts to programs that are critical for working families,” Gillum said.

Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, who also is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, pointed to the budget as last-ditch effort to make up for prior education cuts.

“In his first year as governor, Scott cut more than $1 billion from Florida’s schools and we still haven’t recovered from those massive cut,” Graham said. “Adjusted for inflation, per-student funding would still be less under Rick Scott’s new budget than it was when he took office.”

Official Florida House photo

Frank White makes financial splash in Cabinet race

Bolstered by $1.5 million of his own money, state Rep. Frank White in less than a month has made it a three-way race – in terms of money – among the Republicans seeking to replace Attorney General Pam Bondi next year.

Meanwhile, in the race to replace Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, two lawmakers outpaced their rivals in October fundraising.

And state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who is running for a full term after being appointed to the Cabinet post in June, picked up $431,100 in October for his political committee.

With the 2018 general election a year away, state candidates and political committees faced a Monday deadline for filing reports showing finance activity through October.

White, a Pensacola Republican first elected to the House in 2016, posted $1.65 million in contributions in October, with $1.5 million of that coming from the candidate himself.

White had $1.73 million on hand in his campaign account to begin November in a GOP primary contest that also includes Rep. Jay Fant of Jacksonville and Ashley Moody, a former Hillsborough County circuit judge.

Besides his personal contributions, White picked up $51,000 from the Sansing family and their auto dealerships via 17 separate $3,000 contributions. White is chief financial officer and general counsel for the Sansing Dealer Group, a group of dealerships in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

The influx of cash put White’s fundraising total ahead of the $1.2 million collected the past five months by Moody for her campaign account and the political committee Friends of Ashley Moody.

Moody, who received $10,112 in October from the Republican Party of Florida through in-kind donations of campaign staffing, posted $105,490 in contributions last month for her campaign account and $43,000 for the political committee.

Fant, meanwhile, had the weakest fundraising month but has totaled just under $1.2 million for his personal account and an associated political committee known as Pledge This Day.

Fant’s war chest includes $750,000 of his own money that he put up in September.

Fant’s political committee didn’t bring in any money in October, while he picked up $12,358 for his personal campaign account.

Democratic candidate Ryan Torrens, an attorney from Hillsborough County, raised $9,934 in October. Since entering the contest on May 22, Torrens had raised a total of $49,106 while spending $42,401, as of Oct. 31.

Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

Gwen Graham goes nuclear over recovery fees, fracking fees

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham wants to put a stop to Florida utility ratepayers paying for nuclear power  plants that were never built or which never worked, or for paying for fracking exploration in Florida.

The former congresswoman from Tallahassee went nuclear Tuesday denouncing the 2006 law that allowed Florida investor-owned utility companies to charge advance fees for nuclear power plants that were never built, something that the Florida Public Service Commission has allowed, to the tune of more than $3 million in fees, she said. She charged that the commission is out of control.

Her statement Tuesday in some ways echoes that made last month by her rival for the Democratic primary nomination, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who welcomed her on board the position Tuesday, yet also said “it feels like an election year conversion” for Graham.

Graham faces Democrats Gillum and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and Winter Park businessman Chris King in seeking the 2018 Democratic primary nomination to run for governor.

On Oct. 17, Gillum declared in a statement, “Instead of forcing everyday Floridians to continue ponying up money for Florida Power & Light, the PSC should instead force FPL to pay for their Turkey Point nuclear energy license. Working people in this state face enough financial hardships as it is — they should not have to fork over more money to an enormous corporation who controls most of the state’s major energy decisions. Corporations have run roughshod over this state for too long, and when I’m Governor it will finally end.”

On Tuesday, Graham also called for an end.

“Floridians should not be forced to pay for nuclear power plants that are never built or for fracking exploration,” Graham stated in a news release. “For 20 years, the Republican politicians in Tallahassee have turned a blind eye to the Public Service Commission and utility companies as they’ve taxed seniors, small business owners and families. That ends when I’m elected governor.”

She also criticized both Gov. Jeb Bush and current Gov. Rick Scott for what she said was stacking the commission with what she called “unqualified, industry-friendly commissioners.” She then went after Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the leading Republican gubernatorial candidate, for having voted for an unbuilt nuclear power plant while he was in Congress, and then go after likely Republican gubernatorial candidate House Speaker Richard Corcoran for appointing to the PSC nominating commission.

In 2015, the commission accepted a utilities’ request to allow the charges to Floridians as much as $500 million a year for natural gas fracking projects. The Florida Supreme Court ruled the commission exceeded its authority by approving it.

Now proposed legislation that would grant the commission new authority to charge what Graham called “the fracking tax.”

She pledged that as governor she would fight that and push for a statutory ban on any fracking tax.

“Rick Scott has appointed unqualified, industry-friendly commissioners. Adam Putnam voted to approve the construction of a $24-billion nuclear expansion that is unlikely to ever be built. As Speaker of the House, Richard Corcoran makes half of the appointments to the PSC Nominating Council — which has refused to consider consumer advocates for the PSC,” Graham said. “Their records make it clear that Corcoran and Putnam would continue to allow the Public Service Commission and utilities to charge Floridians with outrageous and unfair taxes.”

Corcoran’s office responded by saying he has six appointments to that commission, and they included Democratic House Leader Janet Cruz and consumer Ann Marie Ryan.

The watchdog group Integrity Florida recently labeled the PSC a “Captured Regulatory Agency,” asserting it has been captured under the influence of the very utilities it is responsible for regulating.

“The Public Service Commission is out of control. As governor, I will appoint consumer advocates who will vote in Floridians best interests — not the special interests,” Graham said. “I will fight to repeal the advanced nuclear recovery taxes and to ban utilities from ever charging customers a speculative fracking tax.”

Adam Putnam: Roy Moore accusations are ‘repulsive’

UPDATED

Agriculture Commissioner and GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam denounced U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, of Alabama, following reports that he had a sexual encounter with an underage girl nearly four decades ago.

“I find the accusations repulsive,” Putnam said in a statement. “I believe that for the good of the people of Alabama, Roy Moore should drop out of the race.”

Jacksonville area state Representative Jay Fant, a candidate for Attorney General, also weighed in on Monday.

“Sexual assault is a disgusting act that we shouldn’t take lightly,” Fant told Florida Politics. “Under our Constitution, Roy Moore is entitled to due process. But if these allegations are true, Roy Moore belongs in prison, not the U.S. Senate.”

Attorney General candidate Ashley Moody weighed in Tuesday morning.

“The allegations against Roy Moore are extremely serious,” she said. “If true, these allegations would not only warrant that he drop out of a political race, but more importantly, require that he be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I’m confident that our legal system and Constitution, which ensure a fair process for both the accused and accusers, will lead to the truth of these allegations and ensure justice is served.”

Putnam is the the most prominent member of the Florida Republican Party to denounce Moore’s plight. Former Governor Jeb Bush called early on Monday for Moore to drop out.

***Update – Tuesday 7:39 a.m.*** – Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran tweeted to Florida Politics, “As the father of two teenage girls, there can’t seriously be a question of my position. Roy Moore should step aside.”

“This is not a question of innocence or guilt like in a criminal proceeding, this is a question of what’s right and wrong,” Bush said in an interview with CNBCs Brian Sullivan. “Acknowledging that you’re dating teenagers when you’re 32 years old as an assistant state attorney is wrong. It’s just plain wrong.”

Bush’s comments came shortly after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in Louisville that he believed the women who told their stories about Moore to the Washington Post last week. Republican Senator Susan Collins, of Maine, also called for Moore to drop out of the race.

“We have to stand for basic principals, and decency has to be one of those,” Bush said on CNBC.

The former Governor also said the denouncements shouldn’t be partisan.

“When it happens to your team, you have an obligation to speak out as well,” Bush said during the CNBC interview.

Shortly after Bush made his remarks, a fifth woman came forward to accuse Moore of making sexual or romantic advances toward her when she was a teenager.

The new accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, said during a news conference in New York that Moore attacked her when she was 16 and he was a prosecutor in Etowah County, Alabama.

Florida Politics has reached out to other statewide running candidates Jack Latvala and Ashley Moody to get their thoughts on what Moore should do. This article will be updated with any future comments.

Compilation of Veterans Day messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians

A compilation of Veterans Day messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians —

Governor Rick Scott

As a Navy veteran myself, I am proud to honor our veterans by offering free entry to the best state park system in the nation. Our award-winning state parks offer countless of opportunities for families and friends to enjoy Florida’s natural treasures. This Veterans Day, I encourage all Florida residents and visitors to visit a state park and to recognize our military heroes for their selfless sacrifices.

In celebration of Veterans Day, several parks are hosting special events this weekend:

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is hosting Honoring Veterans: Past, Present and Future on Nov. 11, 2017.

Highlands Hammock State Park is hosting the 32nd Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Festival on Nov. 11, 2017.

Fort Clinch State Park is hosting History of the American Soldier on Nov. 11, 2017.

The Barnacle Historic State Park is hosting The Barnacle Under Moonlight Concert on Nov. 11, 2017.

Gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum:

Veterans Day is a day to recognize and honor our nation’s veterans. There are over 1.5 million veterans living here in Florida and the sacrifices they’ve made in order to protect us and our families deserve more thanks than we’ll ever be able to give them. It is on all of us to ensure that the brave men and women who serve in our military come home to a grateful nation and have the support and resources they need.

In 2012, Tallahassee became the first Capital Purple Heart City in the nation. From offering veterans free transportation to and from the VA Clinic, to honoring our Purple Heart recipients every year, I’ve been proud to continue and build on our City’s commitment to our veterans.

And, as Governor, I will continue to do that by ensuring physical and mental health care and job-training opportunities are available for all of our veterans. So, while today is set aside as a special day to honor and recognize all of the sacrifices that veterans made for us, we must continue to fight to make every day like Veterans Day.

Gubernatorial candidate and former Congresswoman Gwen Graham:

Gubernatorial candidate and Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine:

Gubernatorial candidate and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam:

State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto:

On this Veterans Day, I urge my fellow Floridians to take a moment to express gratitude to the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces. Whether veterans of wartime or of peacetime, those drafted or who volunteered, those who have fallen or those with us today, these American heroes have selflessly put the welfare of our nation above their own.

The Legislature has continued to work hard to make sure veterans in Florida receive the respect, services, and gratitude they so richly deserve. We are committed to continuing Florida’s tradition as the ‘Welcome Home’ state for veterans and their families.

Please join me in thanking our service men and women, as well as their families, for the sacrifices they have made in responding to the call of duty, protecting us from threats to our freedom, and defending our liberty.

State Sen. René Garcia:

State Sen. Debbie Mayfield:

State Sen. Keith Perry:

State Rep. Cord Byrd:

State Rep. Bob Cortes:

State Rep. Nicholas Duran:

State Rep. Jason Fischer:

State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr.:

State Rep. Dane Eagle:

On Saturday we celebrate the legacy of men and women who have sacrificed so much in service to America. They are the veterans of America’s armed forces. They have granted us our liberty and continue to do so. These great men and women – our sons, our daughters, our mothers and fathers – have fought for our country with a fearless mindset, going into enemy territories without knowledge of when or if they would ever return. These heroes surrendered their freedoms so that we may keep our own.  As the United People of this great country, we must thank those who have served. We must recognize the colossal sacrifice they have made.

Many of our Veterans have suffered physical and mental trials, some even losing their lives in the line of duty, but their sacrifice is not futile, for we, the American people, remember.

We remember the First Army, the soldiers who waged war against the British troops and granted us our independence. We remember the Great American Civil War and our triumph during World War II. We remember the fight against the communist powers during the Korean War and again in the Vietnam War. We remember those who were sent overseas to serve in Afghanistan, leaving their friends, families, and loved ones behind.

Most importantly, we remember those who have perished. We remember the millions and millions of soldiers who have lost their lives in the making of our great country. We remember their courageous acts, the very acts that have made the United States of America the commanding and powerful country it is today. We must never forget what they have done.

Not only do we honor those in our history, but we honor those who continue to serve. Our Veterans uphold characteristics that the people of the United States value. Characteristics such as valor, integrity, humility, strength, and fortitude are qualities that live in the mentality of each and every Veteran, but while our Veterans share the same abilities, they are not one in the same. They come from various backgrounds, upbringings, and circumstances. They are of different religions, race, and economic standing. They mirror the diversity that is the United States of America; they are us.

Veterans Day gives us the opportunity to do something we should do each and every day: give thanks. We should give thanks to the men and women who wear a service uniform. We should give thanks to their families and offer them our thoughts and prayers. Through our words and actions, we should tell the families of injured and fallen veterans their loved ones have the gratitude of our nation, our state, and our communities. For theirs is a noble and lasting legacy that serves as the cornerstone of our American character.

State Rep. Joe Geller

I want to take a moment to honor all  of our veterans who have served our great country. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the veterans that have made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live in the great nation that we do, and to all those who served.

State Rep. Bill Hager:

State Rep. Shawn Harrison:

State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia:

State Rep. Shevrin Jones:

State Rep. Wengay Newton:

State House candidate Ardian Zika:

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons