Adam Putnam Archives - Page 5 of 84 - Florida Politics

Pam Bondi bridges Adam Putnam with Donald Trump in new TV ad

Attorney General Pam Bondi is leveraging her relationship with President Donald Trump in an attempt to give her Cabinet colleague Adam Putnam a boost in his gubernatorial campaign.

Putnam’s campaign announced Thursday night that it will begin airing an ad featuring Bondi’s’ support for the Agriculture Commissioner.

But having the Attorney General’s support, one could argue, means having at least some link to the President. The 30-second spot features Bondi saying, “I fought hard to elect President Trump and I’m supporting Adam Putnam for Governor.” Bondi stumped for Trump in 2016, and the Donald J. Trump Foundation has donated to Bondi’s political coffers in the past. 

“Adam will stand with President Trump to get tough on illegal immigration, ban sanctuary cities and deport criminal illegal aliens,” Bondi continues. She also reminds viewers that close to 50 Florida sheriffs have endorsed Putnam. 

The ad follows Putnam’s recent slip in favorability among Florida voters. Three recent polls have shown DeSantis ahead by double digits, and a poll released by Florida Atlantic University on Wednesday showed DeSantis up nine points over Putnam. In another recent poll, the Florida Chamber (which has endorsed Putnam) declared the race a current tie.

DeSantis’ recent success has been linked to Trump’s June intervention in the race, when he tweeted, “Congressman Ron DeSantis, a top student at Yale and Harvard Law School, is running for Governor of the Great State of Florida. Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes – Loves our Military & our Vets. He will be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsement!”

Trump’s campaign arm has since announced that the President will come to Tampa to tout certain Republicans, DeSantis among them, on July 31.

Watch the ad below:

Police chiefs back Adam Putnam

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam continued his almost clean sweep of state law enforcement endorsements Thursday with the announced backing of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.

That endorsement adds to Putnam’s list that already includes the Florida Fraternal Order of Police, the Florida Police Benevolent Association and more than 40 county sheriffs, along with his endorsement from the Florida Professional Firefighters.

“It’s clear that Adam Putnam cares about the needs of law enforcement and is ready to provide the support needed to keep Floridians safe,” Amy Mercer, executive director of the Florida Police Chiefs Association, stated in a news release issued by Putnam’s campaign. “He is the only gubernatorial candidate who reached out to the FPCA to learn about the most pressing public safety issues that concern Florida’s police chiefs. We look forward to working with Adam Putnam as Governor to enhance public safety for the residents of Florida and its many visitors.”

Putnam faces U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in the Aug. 28 Republican gubernatorial primary. The winner gets the winner from among the Democratic candidates: Chris King, Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, Jeff Greene, or Philip Levine.

The Florida Police Chiefs Association has more than 900 top law enforcement executives.

“Public safety is job number one. I am honored to have the support of the Florida Police Chiefs Association,” Putnam stated in the release. “Government’s highest responsibility is to protect our citizens. As your governor, I’ll work with our police to keep our communities safe and secure. We must continue Florida’s 47-year decline in crime and that doesn’t happen without the brave men and women who put on the uniform every day. I will fight for our law enforcement officers and that is why they are supporting me to be Florida’s next governor.”

Philip Levine getting Disney, South Florida unions’ backing

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine is getting the endorsement of two of the largest unions at Walt Disney World and from another representing hospitality workers in South Florida, with a formal announcement set for late Thursday in Orlando.

UNITE HERE Locals 362 and 737, combining to represent 23,000 at Walt Disney World and other Central Florida locations, and Local 355 representing 7,000 workers in South Florida, are picking Levine in the Democratic primary over four rivals.

Local 355 represents hospitality workers in South Florida’s hotels, airports, sports stadiums, and casinos. Local 362 represents attractions, custodial and vacation planning employees Walt Disney World and food service workers in Central Florida. Local 737 represents food and beverage workers and housekeepers at Disney and other locations throughout Central Florida.

“With union workers at Disney on the verge of winning a historic raise to $15, we need a governor who is committed to raising wages for all Floridians,” Eric Clinton, president of UNITE HERE Local 362, stated in a news release. “Phil Levine has taken action to raise wages in South Florida, and we stand with him to help workers across the whole state.”

Levine got the hospitality workers’ backing over his rivals in the Aug. 28 Democratic gubernatorial primary, Jeff Greene, Gwen Graham, Chris King, and Andrew Gillum, and over the Republican frontrunners, Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam.

Ron DeSantis’ race to win? Another poll shows him leading Adam Putnam

We saw the Donald Trump effect in action in Tuesday’s Georgia gubernatorial primary. We may be seeing a repeat in Florida come Aug. 28.

A new poll from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative has Ron DeSantis up nine points over former front-runner Adam Putnam in the GOP race for governor.

That continues the trend of polls showing DeSantis, a northeast Florida congressman, leading or tied with Putnam, the term-limited state Agriculture Commissioner, after DeSantis was endorsed by Trump.

It started with a Remington Research Group poll at the beginning of the month showing DeSantis up 17 points. Given Remington’s middling reputation as a pollster, it was fair to wonder whether that poll was an outlier rather than a sign the race was shifting.

But just over a week later, another poll showed DeSantis with a double-digit lead. Then, a third survey had DeSantis up 20 points.

This past weekend, the Florida Chamber of Commerce had the race tied. But that was a shift of 17 points toward DeSantis since the group’s previous poll.

Now, FAU’s survey has DeSantis earning 36 percent of voters’ support, with Putnam pulling in just 27 percent. And analysts say that’s due in large part to Trump’s decision to insert himself into the race.

“President Trump’s backing of Congressman DeSantis appears to have pushed the congressman past the early favorite Adam Putnam in the Republican primary,” said Kevin Wagner, professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative.

While Trump’s endorsements have had limited success in the past (most notably in the Alabama Senate race, where his candidates of choice lost in both the primary and general elections), the president has had more wins recently.

That trend was most recently highlighted in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Georgia, where Brian Kemp coasted to victory Tuesday night after earning Trump’s support.

Nevertheless, Wagner warns Trump could be a liability come November.

“While the President can help Congressman DeSantis in the primary, Mr. Trump’s underwater approval ratings may be a drag in the general election.”

Indeed, the poll shows Trump’s overall approval rating dropped two points from the poll’s previous results in May. He now sits at 41 percent approval, with 47 percent of voters disapproving.

Other notable points from the FAU survey show Republicans ranking immigration as their top concern in 2018, with 43 percent of voters citing that issue.

The survey was conducted July 20-21 among 800 registered voters, with a margin of error of 3.4 points. Party breakdown among the survey respondents was 35 percent registered Democrats, 33 percent registered Republicans and 32 percent registered independents.

Adam Putnam, Ron DeSantis camps spar over federal ‘Fair Tax’ bill

On three separate occasions, U.S. Rep. and GOP candidate for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis co-sponsored Fair Tax legislation.

The bill, a favorite in some conservative circles (even as National Review-types such as Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru diverge), would overhaul federal taxation as we know it “by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States.”

On Tuesday, Florida Grown (a political committee supportive of the gubernatorial campaign of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam) spotlighted in television and radio spots the national sales tax proposal as leading to “skyrocketing costs” for Florida families.

“What would a 23 percent sales tax do to Florida’s economy? If Congressman DeSantis had his way, everything would cost 23 percent more — groceries, gas, home purchases,” the narrator says in the 30-second ad, which appears on cable and broadcast beginning Wednesday.

“Congressman DeSantis sponsored legislation to increase sales taxes by 23 percent, hurting families, destroying jobs, devastating tourism. Washington is full of bad ideas and phony politicians. Ron DeSantis and his huge tax increase fit right in,” the narrator adds.

In making the anti-Fair Tax case, Putnam is seemingly advocating for the current model of taxation on the federal level.

He’s not alone in opposing the proposal: left-leaning PolitiFact, in 2015, said the proposal was regressive, eliminating a graduated income tax in favor of a regressive, consumption-based tax.

The same PolitiFact write-up notes that for the tax to be revenue neutral, the rate may have to be well above 23 percent.

As a candidate in 2012, DeSantis outlined his philosophy regarding the burdens of taxation to the Palm Coast Observer.

“Americans are overtaxed. If you look at somebody who earns a relatively decent income, in Florida at least we don’t have income tax, but like in California you’re making $80,000 in a two-income family, you’re getting hit federally with the 15.4% FICA. Then you’re getting federal income tax and you’re getting state income tax, then you’re paying property taxes, you’re paying gas taxes, paying sales taxes — everything we do is being taxed. I just think we need to draw the line and say OK, we’ve taxed enough, let’s have government live within its means rather than asking us to pay more and more.”

DeSantis was slow to co-sponsor the bill for the third time in 2017 but did after an inquiry from the chairman of the group dedicated to passing the measure.

Campaign manager Brad Herold notes that DeSantis still supports the bill, saying “he’s co-sponsored it three times.”

When asked why Putnam would go on the attack on this point, Herold posited: “Putnam is facing the reality of having to finally get a job outside of politics, and he’ll say just about anything to avoid that. Including attacking Ron for supporting the FairTax.”

Herold, in what has to be considered foreshadowing of the president’s stump speech next week in Tampa, notes that “when President Trump endorsed us, he said Ron is ‘big on cutting taxes.'”

On behalf of the Putnam campaign, spox Meredith Beatrice asserted late Monday evening the candidate has real concerns about the Fair Tax.

“Conservatives have railed against this tax and explained how it would result in higher taxes for the middle class. This policy is particularly bad for Florida considering that retirees, who paid taxes on their wages during their working lives, would find themselves having to also pay higher taxes on everything they used their accumulated savings to buy,” Beatrice said.

Linda Stewart shreds report on concealed weapons, renews call for outside review

Democratic state Sen. Linda Stewart shredded the Department of Agriculture Inspector General’s report on concerns regarding the state’s concealed weapons permitting program Tuesday, suggested those concerns were tied to the 2016 Pulse slaughter, and renewed her call for an outside investigation.

“I am disturbed by an alarming trend among our elected officials to evade responsibility for their actions, especially when they threaten the safety and welfare of our fellow Floridians,” Stewart said at a news conference held outside the former Pulse nightclub, scene of the horrific June 12, 2016, mass shooting that killed 49.

Stewart was drawing renewed attention to the reports that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs’ handling of concealed weapons permits and other public safety permits had fallen into lapses and other controversies under Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a leading Republican candidate for governor.

The department’s inspector general’s report concluded last month that the blame rested with one employee, Lisa Wilde, who was terminated. Stewart ridiculed the internal investigation Tuesday. And she rejected Putnam’s assertions that system safeguards prevailed, that no practical harm was done, that there was nothing more to the matter, and that the criticisms of his office’s handling of the permits and the inspector general report were entirely partisan politics.

Various reports over the past six weeks have indicated that Wilde, who vetted concealed weapons permit applications, had failed for more than a year to use a critical federal background check database. A whistleblower was fired after she tried to raise red flags about misconduct in the department’s Bureau of Licensing. Also, the department had reportedly put in a quota of approving at least 75 concealed weapons permits a day.

Stewart added criticisms that the Pulse murderer, Omar Mateen, had received both a concealed-weapons permit and a security guard license despite what should have been multiple red flags about his nature, including two FBI inquiries. His concealed weapons permit was renewed in 2015.

Putnam’s campaign responded late Tuesday contending the claims were “baseless” and that Stewart was doing the dirty work of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates in circulating them.

But she offered it Tuesday as a personal concern, dating to her ongoing efforts to bring more attention to gun safety issues since the massacre at Pulse, in her district.

“I am standing here today because ultimately the system failed. The 49 people who were killed, the system failed their families, the system failed the community, and those failures cannot stand up to the truth we have learned since that tragedy,” Stewart said. “We know that those accountable for ensuring that only law-abiding citizens carry a concealed weapon failed to do so.

“We know because of whistleblowers who have said out of court that his application was likely approved at a time employees at DACS [Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services] were being assigned daily quotas and were being told by their supervisors that they worked for the NRA,” Stewart said of Mateen.

Last week Stewart wrote to Gov. Rick Scott requesting an outside investigation. Scott has told reporters since then that he is open to the prospect, but has not pursued it. Nor has he responded to Stewart.

On Tuesday Stewart declared the Department of Agriculture’s IG report was biased and did not follow protocol guidelines, and that the conclusions were “deeply flawed.”

“I am asking, once again, for the governor to refer this matter to the state inspector general as he has referred other matters of critical importance more than once in his time of office, and as he has confirmed in various media outlets that he is considering,” Stewart said.

She also called for the concealed weapons permitting program to be returned from the Department of Agriculture to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“I heard the criticism of Commissioner Putnam and Attorney General [Pam] Bondi made last week in the shadow of this building,” she added. “They said it was partisan. They said I had insulted law enforcement. I am deeply disappointed in their statements because nothing could be farther from the truth.”

Stewart said she conducted her own inquiry and was initially “stonewalled” by Putnam’s office in seeking the DACS Inspector General’s report and supporting materials, and when she reviewed them she concluded that what it said and what Putnam said was wrong; the investigation failed to interview some witnesses under oath, and that the report mischaracterized interviews with witnesses “in multiple instances.”

The response from Putnam’s Campaign Communications Director Meredith Beatrice:

“Apparently, the five Democrat candidates for governor can’t do their own dirty work and have enlisted Senate Democrats to circulate these baseless claims. This is nothing more than partisan politics and state Senator Stewart and others should be ashamed for attacking sworn law enforcement officers. They are chomping at the bit to chip away at our second amendment rights in Florida and are painfully aware that Adam Putnam can beat their weak candidates in the general election.”

Adam Putnam scores another fundraising win, nears $35M raised

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam tacked on another $370,000 for his gubernatorial bid between July 7 and July 13, nearly putting him past the $35 million mark in total fundraising.

The Bartow Republican raised $158,134 in hard money and brought in another $212,575 via his political committee, Florida Grown, for a total haul of $370,709. That’s six figures better than the $226,850 primary opponent U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis brought in during the same stretch.

Putnam’s campaign cash was split across more than 300 individual donors, more than half of whom chipped in $100 or less. The committee haul was buoyed by a $100,000 check from freight shipping company R&L Transfer, while 14 other donors accounted for the balance.

Putnam’s campaign spent just $342, but Florida Grown shelled out a whopping $2.7 million for the week. That includes more than $2.4 million in media buys via Virginia-based Smart Media Group, a $200,000 contribution to the Republican Party of Florida and numerous smaller payments for campaign and fundraising consulting.

To date, Putnam has raised $34.85 million between the two accounts. He had $12.62 million in the bank on July 13.

DeSantis reports showed $81,850 in hard money and another $145,000 raised for his political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis. The campaign report featured nearly 1,000 contributions, including more than 900 from donors chipping in $100 or less.

The committee report was more top-heavy, with a $50,000 check from Cherna Moskowitz taking the top spot among the eight contributions it received. Cherna Moskowitz is the wife of businessman and philanthropist Irving Moskowitz, who died in 2016.

DeSantis’ spending included $21,500 on the campaign side and another $608,000 out of his committee’s coffers. That included a $500,000 contribution to the Republican Party of Florida, $60,000 in consulting payments and $39,000 in videography through South Carolina-based Something Else Strategies.

Through July 13, DeSantis had raised a little over $13 million between his two accounts and had about $6.78 million banked.

Despite Putnam’s prolific fundraising, recent polls have shown DeSantis rocketing into the lead in the two-way primary race, with one poll showing him ahead by 20 points thanks to the so-called “Trump bump” following the president’s endorsement of the Ponte Vedra Republican.

A new measure from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, however, shows the two GOP candidates in a “virtual tie” at 36 percent support apiece with 28 percent undecided. The Florida Chamber has endorsed Putnam in the primary.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Ag Commissioner candidates eye concealed weapons licensing

State Sen. Denise Grimsley would immediately order a “full audit” of Florida’s concealed-weapons licensing process, as well as examine the management structure of the program, if she is elected Agriculture Commissioner.

And the Sebring Republican is joined by two of her primary opponents, former state Rep. Baxter Troutman of Winter Haven and Plant City businessman Mike McCalister, in saying accountability for problems with background checks rests with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican who is running for governor.

Yet, Troutman accepts that Putnam, who has served as Agriculture Commissioner since 2011, has taken responsibility for heavily publicized issues in the licensing process.

“Setting an environment that demands accountability, productivity and success lies at the top — the buck stops with the commissioner, which is something Commissioner Putnam has acknowledged,” Troutman said, when asked about Putnam’s degree of accountability.

The Tampa Bay Times reported last month that state investigators found a former Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services employee, who had been promoted from a job in the mailroom, failed for a year to conduct one of the national background checks for concealed-weapons licenses.

The Associated Press later reported state investigators determined that 48 employees had made mistakes in the review process, requiring the agency to revoke two concealed-weapons licenses and an armed security guard license.

The Times has also reported that Putnam’s agency paid $30,000 to settle a lawsuit with a former employee who claimed she was required to meet a daily processing quota and that she had been advised “she worked for the NRA.”

This year’s fourth Republican candidate for Agriculture Commissioner, state Rep. Matt Caldwell of North Fort Myers, did not respond to the questions last week about the licensing issues from The News Service of Florida.

Putnam’s office has pushed back against the reports, with Putnam saying after the initial Times report last month that problems had been corrected and that “public safety was not at risk.” But Democrats have seized on the reports to criticize Putnam.

Nikki Fried, a Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner, said she intends — if elected — to do an audit of the entire department “to ensure it is operating efficiently and effectively on behalf of the people of Florida.”

“The recent revelations of Commissioner Putnam’s failures to properly oversee the permitting of concealed-carry and private security guard licenses are potentially indicative of a broader mismanagement of the department,” Fried said. “We must find out if that is the case, and if so, take action.”

Grimsley said an audit she plans would determine if any administrative changes are needed regarding the licensing procedures.

McCalister, also a retired Army National Guard and Reserves colonel, said no concealed-weapons license should be deemed complete until all required background checks are included with an application.

Troutman intends to implement a new reporting structure that would measure outcomes and expectations.

“In business, things that get measured get done, and people must be held accountable,” Troutman said.

Grimsley mirrored Troutman with a “buck always stops at the top” comment, but added she needs to better understand the procedures used to process the applications.

“I look forward to speaking with Commissioner Putnam and his management team to better understand the procedures they have used and then think about ways to ensure that we are deploying resources and using processes that work to provide safety and security going forward,” Grimsley said.

Democratic candidate Jeff Porter, who is the mayor of Homestead, joined Grimsley and McCalister in maintaining that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services can continue to handle the applications.

“I would institute a level of professionalism not found in the program today,” Porter said. “It is unconscionable to have had a mailroom clerk be responsible for the checking of the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) checks. I would hire a team with a law-enforcement background to oversee this critical program to all Floridians.”

McCalister said the permitting process “should be handled by a statewide elected official to ensure consistent standards and not left to unelected persons.”

Democratic candidate David Walker, a marine biologist, favors moving the checks to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“Law enforcement officials are better equipped to perform a thorough background check,” Walker said. “It will also link the concealed weapon permit, which is under the commissioner of agriculture, with gun purchase, which is under Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Linking concealed weapon license with gun purchase will make it easier for law enforcement officials to see compliance with gun purchases.”

Fried said moving the processing to the FDLE is something that deserves discussion.

“All concealed-weapons permit applications are run through the Florida Crime Information Center, which is run by the FDLE,” Fried said. “Background checks are run to ensure that CWP’s (concealed weapons permits) don’t end up in the hands of the wrong people and to protect society. So, in my opinion, it is completely reasonable to have the conversation of moving this responsibility over to the law enforcement professionals.”

Troutman said he’s also open to such discussions.

“Florida is one of four states where someone other than law enforcement issues concealed-carry permits,” Troutman said. “The Legislature and governor ultimately decide where this program is housed, and I’m open to discussions exploring improvements to the application process.”

None of the candidates called for eliminating or scaling back the concealed-weapons licensing process. In December 2012, Florida became the first state in the nation to surpass 1 million active conceal-carry permits.

But the Democrats expressed some concerns with proposals to expand laws dealing with gun rights, such as allowing people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry handguns — an issue that lawmakers have considered.

“It is not in the best interest of Floridians to have an open-carry policy as it places everyone in danger,” Walker said. “If there is an incident, police would not know who is the perpetrator versus the victim.”

Porter said “open carry” isn’t necessary due to the large number of legal gun owners in the state.

“Criminals should think twice about committing a crime against a resident of Florida, whether or not they are showing a gun, the odds are that the potential victim is carrying a legal weapon to defend themselves,” Porter said.

Grimsley and Troutman, who recently received “B plus” and “C minus” grades, respectively, from the National Rifle Association, offered outright support for the Second Amendment.

Grimsley added she’d support “any efforts to give law-abiding Floridians more freedom to exercise it.”

The state had surpassed 1.9 million active concealed-weapons licenses as of June 30.

​GOP campaigns for governor slam each other over dicey donors

The pitched GOP gubernatorial primary battle between Rep. Ron DeSantis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam increasingly is pivoting on which campaign can malign the other side’s donors.

In Jacksonville Saturday morning, DeSantis devoted a lot of time to slamming the sugar industry, a position assumed after over $5 million was devoted to negative ads against the congressman when he got into the race.

The candidate vowed that he was “not going to be hamstrung by an interest group,” unlike Putnam, whom “one big company tells … what to do.”

“If they need all these subsidies, then why in heck are they spending all this money in politics,” DeSantis, who voted against sugar subsidies in Congress, asked rhetorically.

“They should have less subsidies and then not spend as much money,” DeSantis added.

On Monday, Putnam’s campaign spox Meredith Beatrice fired back with a rejoinder.

“Congressman DeSantis will say just about anything to voters these days. In true swamp creature fashion, he says one thing and does another.

“Florida-based companies and job creators obviously do not trust him, so Congressman DeSantis has surrounded himself with some very questionable company, like hush-money Elliott Broidy, money laundering Democrat Ahmad Khawaja and shady Victor Imber.”

Worth noting: The Florida Democratic Party has spotlighted Broidy’s interest in DeSantis for months. The former Republican National Committee finance chair and, more recently, vice-chair of finance, resigned from that role earlier this year.

After we contacted Putnam for comment, we received an email from Ardis Hammock, a sugarcane farmer who also is the spokeswoman for Florida Sugarcane Farmers.

“It’s truly a shame that Ron DeSantis has decided to attack hardworking Florida farmers in this governor’s race.

“Farming helps pay the bills and put food on the table for more than 1.6 million Florida families. It has a $160 billion economic impact to the state and provides food security for America.

“But none of this seems to matter to Ron DeSantis, who is clearly taking direction and money from far-left special interests who ultimately want to outsource Florida agriculture to Mexico,” Hammock said.

“Congressman DeSantis may claim to not take money from sugarcane farmers now, but he lost support from us in Florida’s heartland years ago,” Hammock added.

DeSantis’ campaign wouldn’t take the bait, continuing to hammer home the theme that Putnam is a particularly “transactional” politician.

“It’s an interesting tactic to double down on how much money he’s raised from special interests on the record, especially now that conservative voters had figured out he’s an transactional Republican with a long history of supporting amnesty, bailing out Wall Street, and voting with Nancy Pelosi,” DeSantis campaign manager Brad Herold said.

“But you have to admire the message discipline to keep repeating it even when down double digits,” he added.

Polls of the race are for now in DeSantis’ favor.

One new poll has DeSantis leading the race by a 42-30 margin, an indication that as the pool of undecided voters becomes more shallow, DeSantis’ support deepens.

The Putnam-supportive Florida Chamber has a poll that deems the race a dead heat, though the DeSantis camp asserts that poll doesn’t sample Trump voters, instead oversampling supervoters from pre-2016 samples.

Adam Putnam meets with Brooksville firefighters, touts law enforcement support

Adam Putnam met with firefighters in Brooksville today after touting his support among law enforcement officials the night before.

The Republican candidate for Governor spent much of Saturday with first responders at the Florida State Fire Service Association Executive Board Meeting.

Putnam has earned the endorsements of the Florida Professional Firefighters, the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Florida Fraternal Order of Police, and at the weekend event spent his time communicating to firefighters that his priority will be on responders’ needs should he move into the governor’s mansion.

“It is my priority to make sure that the men and women who are running into situations that everyone else is running away from have the resources and tools they need to be successful,” Putnam said in a statement.

Putnam met with a number of firefighters at the Withlacoochee Forestry Training Center. The event was not open to press.

Putnam campaigned on Friday evening in Venice with Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, one of 46 sheriffs to endorse Putnam for governor.

“The most important thing that we have is safety and security,” Knight said at the event. “When you get 46 Sheriffs from both sides of the aisle who understand Adam will represent us in Tallahassee, continue Florida’s all-time low in crime and keep the state vibrant, you know he will protect our state as Governor.”

Putnam in turn praised Knight, who was re-elected unopposed to a third term in 2016. “Tom Knight is doing amazing things here,” Putnam said. “Everything that we want to accomplish together begins with public safety. Crime in Florida is at a 47-year low because of the men and women who keep the bad guys behind bars.”

Putnam has raised close to $6.5 million in his bid for governor, compared to $2.5 million raised over chief Republican opponent Ron DeSantis, but polls have shown DeSantis leading or tied with Putnam.

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