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South Florida lawmakers back Matt Caldwell for Ag. Commissioner

Commissioner of Agriculture candidate and state Rep. Matt Caldwell announced support from seven South Florida lawmakers in what his campaign called its “fourth wave” of legislative endorsements.

Included in the Monday announcement were House Speaker Designate Jose Oliva, and Reps. Bryan Avila, Michael Bileca, Manny Diaz, George Moraitis, Jeanette Nunez and Carlos Trujillo. Prior “waves” included blocks of Caldwell’s Republican House colleagues from the Panhandle, Southwest Florida, and Northeast Florida delegations.

“I am proud to support my friend, Matt Caldwell, in his bid to serve as our next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Matt is a trusted conservative that we can count on to serve as a key decision maker on Florida’s Cabinet, protect Florida’s consumers, and fight to grow jobs in our Agricultural sector,” Oliva said.

In all, Caldwell’s campaign has announced endorsements from 25 current Republican members of the Florida House.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsements of such an impressive delegation. I have been blessed to serve with each and every one of these individuals for five-plus years and together, we have been able to shape policy, fight for limited and accountable government, and ensure prosperity for the Sunshine State,” Caldwell said.

The announcement also included a highlight reel of Caldwell’s “#2LaneTravels Work Days Tour,” which shows him getting his hands dirty trying out some of the jobs overseen by the Commissioner of Agriculture.

Caldwell is is running against Sen. Denise Grimsley and former legislator Baxter Troutman in the Republican Primary to replace termed limited Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam. A fourth Republican, Paul Paulson, still has an open campaign account, but late last last month said he was bowing out and backing Caldwell.

Troutman currently leads the pack in fundraising, though nearly all of his $2.5 million in cash on hand came from his own pocket. Grimsley and Caldwell were neck-and-neck through the end of September with each having about $875,000 on hand.

Also running is Democrat R. David Walker, who is currently the only non-Republican candidate with an active campaign account.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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